In 1971 J. Standard Baker Quoted " Drivers Towing Trailers  Are Four (4) Times As Unsafe As Those In Cars Alone! 

Key points:

The fire has been brought under control but has still not been contained
Fire crews are working to keep the blaze away from the Kwinana Freeway
The fire was started when a wheel came off a boat trailer, igniting scrubland

Baldivis bushfire near Kwinana Freeway under control but Perth suburbs not out of danger yetBy James Carmody
Updated about 8 hours ago

Fire crews hope to contain a large bushfire in Perth's south before strengthening easterly winds send it in the direction of the city's major freeway.

Key points:

The fire has been brought under control but has still not been contained
Fire crews are working to keep the blaze away from the Kwinana Freeway
The fire was started when a wheel came off a boat trailer, igniting scrubland

An emergency warning overnight was downgraded to a watch and act alert, but emergency services remain on high alert after about 150 firefighters worked through the night to fight the blaze.

The fire started on the eastern side of the Kwinana Freeway in Baldivis about midday yesterday and quickly spread north-east, fanned by strong winds.

At its peak, it was spreading about 2.5 kilometres per hour and was spotting 300 to 400 metres ahead of the main fire.

It burned through paddocks and rural properties, including a horse riding school where several panicked horses could be seen in helicopter footage.

The bushfire also jumped the Serpentine River and while it has now been brought under control, it has still not been contained.

An emergency warning was in place for several hours yesterday, but was downgraded to a watch and act level overnight.

Follow our live blog of the bushfires burning around the country

Fears Kwinana Freeway could be affected

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Superintendent Ray Buchan said easterly winds, with gusts of up to 50 kilometres per hour, were creating a new danger.

He said flames were threatening to jump control lines fire crews established overnight to contain the blaze.

[An aerial shot of a bushfire showing a big cloud of white smoke.] Photo: Smoke from the blaze was sent billowing across Perth's south-eastern suburbs yesterday. (ABC News)

"Our issue is today on the western side of the fire, with the easterly winds that are blowing now," he said.

"There is potential for that fire to come over the control line and continue on towards the west of the freeway."

Superintendent Buchan said the fire was unlikely to jump but "that's the risk we have today with the wind that we've got".

He said only one shed had been lost in the fire and no residential property, but people who left their homes during the emergency warning last night could not return until fire crews confirmed the area was safe.

What to do if bushfire threatens[What to do if bushfire threatens]
ABC Emergency has sourced advice from official agencies on how to plan for a bushfire, including preparing a survival kit.

Superintendent Buchan warned people not to go through control points.

"If you go through control points and into the fire area, you're creating a risk to yourself from falling trees but more importantly to responders working on the roadway," he said.

"We understand there's frustration around getting into the property and getting back to their houses, but for us we need to do our job safely and we'll open the roads up as soon as we can."

The watch and act warning is in place for parts of Mundijong, Hopeland, Oldbury, Mardella, Serpentine, Baldivis, Wellard and Cardup in the City of Kwinana, City of Rockingham and Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale.

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Video: The fast-moving bushfire prompted an emergency warning yesterday (ABC News)

It covers people in an area bounded by Mortimer Road and Gossage Road to the north, Kwinana Freeway to the west, Karnup Road to the south and Kargotich Road to the east, but not including the freeway

A number of roads in the area remain closed, but the freeway remains open.

Almost 100 homes were left without power due to damage to power poles.

Trailer wheel sparked blaze

Superintendent Buchan said the fire was sparked in grass on the side of Karnup Road when a wheel came off a boat trailer yesterday.

"It's been confirmed that the fire was caused by a wheel off a trailer and sparks from that trailer dragging on the ground started that fire," he said.

This morning the boat and broken trailer could still be seen on the side of Karnup Road with marks leading into the grass, where the axle appears to have dragged on the road.

[A boat on a trailer on the side of a bush road.] Photo: A boat trailer which blew a tyre is being investigated as a potential cause of the blaze. (ABC News: James Carmody)

The burnt-out area stretches east from the point where the marks begin, in the same direction strong winds were blowing yesterday.

The boat's owner, James Hamling, said he was returning from a holiday in Denmark and was almost home when the trailer collapsed, skidding along the road and igniting the roadside.

"All I had in the car was two litres of water," he said. "I tried to put it out, but I just had no chance and it took off.

"I rang emergency and the firefighters came and then it's just a bit of blur because I was in shock by then.

"I wasn't worried about the boat or my car or anything, I was more worried about people's lives, homes, animals, livestock."

[A man in a black top in front of a boat and trailer being loaded onto a tow truck.] Photo: James Hamling's boat trailer started the fire after a wheel feel off and led to sparks. (Supplied)

DFES confirmed the blaze was being treated as an accident, but Mr Hamling said he could not help but feel bad.

"I would just like to apologise to all the people who have been affected by the smoke or fires, or if they have lost fences," he said.

"I know it was an accident, but I still feel responsible for it.

"I would like to thank everyone involved, the helicopter pilots, police, ambulance, fire fighters and everyone involved."

He said he had felt physically ill with worry that any people or their animals might have been injured.

[A crowd watching a helicopter hovering over a bushfire.] Photo: Helicopters and water bombers were brought in to tackle the bushfire yesterday. (ABC News: Briana Shepherd)

The fire has burned through about 1,200 hectares and had a perimeter of about 27 kilometres.

More than 40 people made use of a temporary evacuation centre overnight at the Mike Barnett Sports Complex on Dixon Road in Rockingham.

Elsewhere in the state, fire conditions have eased allowing the Eyre Highway — the main road connecting WA and South Australia — to reopen.

The highway was closed for 12 days, leaving hundreds of cars and trucks stranded at Caiguna.

Stay across our bushfire coverage:

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The fires threat rises in East Gippsland and Alpine communities with emergency evacuations
Almost half of Kangaroo Island has been scorched by bushfires, CFS confirms
What the experts say about hazard reduction burns and our current fire catastrophe
Wildlife experts say over a billion animals now dead in NSW bushfiresFollow this story to get email or text alerts from ABC News when there is a future article following this storyline.
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Topics: bushfire, disasters-and-accidents, baldivis-6171, oldbury-6121, mundijong-6123, serpentine-6125, rockingham-6168, wellard-6170, perth-6000, wa

First posted yesterday at 5:45pm

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