A bushfire has ripped through the entire town of Yarloop, near Perth

A bushfire burning in Western Australia has “wiped out” the town of Yarloop, south of Perth.

There are reports of “50 metre flames” burning through the region. The ABC reports Yarloop, a town of about 500 residents, has so far lost “the local police station, the railway station, and a local pub”.

Here’s a shot of flames near Waroona, north of Yarloop:

A Department of Parks and Wildlife spokesman told the ABC that at least 95 buildings have been destroyed in the 125-year-old historic mill town, including the Heritage Listed Yarloop Workshops.

Here’s the pub as locals used to know it:

Picture: Google Street View

Now, this:

The fire was believed to have been started by a lightning strike. It doubled in size overnight, according to Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson, and is now burning around 50,000ha.

Here’s the view from Perth from 7News:

There has been no reports of any loss of life so far, but Nine News is reporting three people are unaccounted for. Hot and windy conditions are expected to continue today, and thunderstorms and gusts of up to 60km/h are expected tomorrow.

There is a current emergency warning in place for people in Preston Beach and Lake Clifton in the Shire of Waroona.

From the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services website:

“You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive. There is a threat to lives and homes.”

One farmer told the ABC that a member of the local fire brigade said “[in] seven minutes [it] just about wiped the whole town”.

Images on social media are as incredible as they are frightening:

That enormous pyrocumulus cloud rising above the region can be seen from space:

One Perth resident caught the rising smoke in this amazing timelapse video:

The Southbound music festival, which was to be held over three days starting today in Busselton, has been cancelled. Details on refunds for 10,000 tickets will be released on Wednesday next week.

Gregson said one appliance was lost in the fire at Lake Clifton, but firefighters escaped with minor injuries.

“(We are) very much in the lap of Mother Nature,” Gregson said.

“It’s possible, given the changing and conflicting winds and the gusts that the fire could break out anywhere around that perimeter. But of course, we monitor and respond as best and as appropriately as we can to minimise the expansion of the perimeter.”

More to come…

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