Bushfires near Esperance claim lives of four people

Published: November 18, 2015
Esperance bushfire horror

Four people have died in a bushfire at North Cascade fire, 60 kilometres north of Esperance.

WA Police said in a statement that five disaster victim identification officers and two arson squad detectives would fly to the area.

“It is believed the fire was not deliberately lit,” the statement said.

So far, 300,000 hectares have been burned in the North Cascade fire, which is now burning on both sides of the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway between Scaddan and Salmon Gums.

Salmon Gums residents are being relocated to Norseman or Esperance, while a number of roads remain closed. The blaze is one of four major bushfires sparked by lightning and burning in WA’s south since Sunday.

WA News reports that authorities have advised residents of Grass Patch, Salmon Gums and surrounding areas in the Shire of Esperance that there is an immediate threat to lives and homes.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services said the bushfire was moving slowly in a north easterly direction, and was out of control and unpredictable with flames up to two metres high.

Onshore Cafe Esperance employee, Joy Forster, told WA Today that more than 100 people had flocked to Esperance following evacuations, with others fleeing north to Norseman.

“There’s been lots of smoke around town,” Ms Forster said.

The burning country north of Esperance is predominantly used for broadacre agriculture including grain growing, sheep and cattle. It is not known how many tourists have been affected by the major bushfire danger.

  • Are you travelling in the area? How are the bushfires affecting you? Comment below.
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