Authorities have closed Perth’s Kings Park as emergency services battle five separate bushland blazes that are threatening lives and homes.
The fires, currently being treated as suspicious, were reported at 2.42pm on Tuesday.
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Dozens of crews from all corners of the city are on the scene working to contain and control the threat, with flames pictured roaring high amid the area’s mature trees.
The emergency was elevated to a watch and act about 4.15pm, with the danger zone bounded by Lovekin Dr, Poole Ave, Thomas St and May Dr.
People in and near the park were told they should leave the area immediately or be prepared to defend their homes.
Firefighters are battling mutiple blazes at Perth’s Kings Park reported on Tuesday afternoon. Credit: 7NEWS
“There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a fire is approaching in the area and conditions are changing,” authorities warned.
Authorities could increase the warning to an “emergency” if the situation escalates, but DFES incident controller Clint Kuchel said “I foresee it will remain on a watch and act”.
Crews will be keen to wrangle the threat under control overnight, with temperatures on Wednesday forecast to hit 35 degrees.
About 45 Kings Park and DFES firefighting crews are currently on the scene, supported by police.
Local resident Gareth Hayes said ash was dropping around his house about two kilometres from the park in the suburb of Subiaco.
“There are helicopters buzzing about and I can see a big plume of smoke drifting west away from the park,” he said.
Cafe owner Connie Tuang said fire trucks had rushed past her business in nearby Nedlands.
“The air is thick and I can smell the fire,” she said.
Ecologically sensitive area
The fires have burnt through about 4.5ha of vegetation and crews expect to be on the scene for some time.
“Within Kings Park we understand and we know it’s an ecologically sensitive area so crews are still bound to work from tracks to make sure they don’t do any disruption to any native vegetation,” Kuchel said.
Smoke from the fires has blown across the Perth Children’s Hospital and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Nedlands.
Authorities say the hospitals are not currently under threat and there are no plans to evacuate.
About 45 Kings Park and DFES firefighting crews are currently on the scene. Credit: 7NEWS
Kuchel said the main ignition points were near the Synergy Parkland area by May Dr.
Police say “at this stage the cause of the fire is being treated as suspicious”.
The arson squad is currently gathering evidence and using drone vision as part of its investigation.
It’s the second bushfire in Perth’s inner suburbs this week, with firefighters on Monday called to a blaze in Bold Park, which is also largely bushland.
The wedding of West Coast Eagles veteran Andrew Gaff was brought to an abrupt end as the fire took hold in Perth’s western suburbs.
Kings Park is one of the world’s largest inner city parks at about 400ha in size and 10km around and is home to the Western Australian Botanic Garden, which displays over 3000 species of the state’s flora.
It is located in the west of the Perth CBD on Mount Eliza and is a mixture of bushland, botanic gardens and grassed parklands.
It’s also a popular tourist spot, with panoramic views across Perth, an outdoor cinema, a historic tennis club and restaurants.
The park is also home to the State War Memorial and is surrounded by hospitals, apartment buildings, family homes, busy inner-city roads and office buildings.
– With AAP
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