Eagle Bay fires: Hundreds of residents rescued from Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay

Brianna DuganThe West Australian
The bushfire emergency convoy.
Camera IconThe bushfire emergency convoy. Credit: Jenny Whittaker/Supplied

Hundreds of residents were rescued from Bunker Bay and Eagle Bay by fire crews on Tuesday afternoon, after being trapped inside the South West bushfire zone for several hours.

Those living in Bunker Bay and Eagle Bay were stranded at the heart of the fire zone, after conditions became so dangerous they were unable to flee this morning.

Homes in those areas have been under direct fire threat, and residents were told to stay indoors as leaving would be deadly.

Firefighters assisted with an evacuation at 4pm Tuesday afternoon, rounding up residents who wanted to leave and taking them to the evacuation centre in Busselton.

More than 200 people escaped the fire zone in the convoy.
Camera IconMore than 200 people escaped the fire zone in the convoy. Credit: Jenny Whittaker/Supplied

Those staying in Bunker Bay were collected from the Bunker Bay Resort, and Eagle Bay residents were taken from their community hall.

Over 130 cars drove in the convoy, which took more than 10 minutes to pass, along Cape Naturaliste Road - the main road leading into the towns, which has been closed all day due to the extreme fire conditions.

More than 500 people were in those cars - all seeming to be in high spirits and honking their horns as they drove through.

A second round of cars formed a convoy shortly after, with more people leaving the area.

Cars were towing boats and trailers, waving at cameras as they drove down Cape Naturaliste Road and away from the fire zone.

Some cars were packed to the brim full of boxes, clothes and animals.

Incident Control Officer Blake Moore said the evacuation was not forced, and residents had the choice to leave or stay.

“I just want to reinforce that this is not a forced evacuation,” Mr Moore said.

“But once you left the area you will not be allowed back in until it has been made safe.”

DFES said in a statement that all people who leave in the convoy are asked to present at Geographe Leisure Centre and register with the Department of Communities.

“For those residents staying in the area, you need to ensure that you are self-sufficient for the duration of this incident,” the statement read.

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