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South West fire emergency: Chance of light shower but winds to threaten effort to control Margaret River blaze

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Shannon HamptonThe West Australian
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VideoMargaret River blaze rages on.

Firefighters battling an out-of-control blaze near Margaret River should expect a weather reprieve on Thursday night.

Weather Bureau duty forecaster Bob Tarr said humid conditions were expected to replace very hot and dry conditions that have confronted firefighters battling the blaze south-west of Margaret River over the past two days.

Mr Tarr said there “won’t be much” rain but there could be drizzle or a light shower over the fireground. He said a temperature of almost 36C at Cape Leeuwin was “quite unusual”.

“The extreme fire behaviour that occurred today with the very hot and dry conditions should diminish overnight,” he said.

“Usually when we get these types of weather patterns it just becomes more humid.

“We can sometimes get drizzle or a light shower over the area, but it won’t be much in the rain gauge.

“The ground might become a bit dewy.”

Mr Tarr said cooler temperatures were also expected tomorrow.

“Throughout the next several days it’ll be much milder, at least form a weather perspective. Should be fairly supportive of the firefighting efforts,” he said.

“Certainly the fire dangers are much less.”

However, he said the main hazard on Friday would be the wind.

“Today the winds have been pretty strong over the north east, burning the towards the coast,” he said.

“But with the wind change that we are experiencing now and later (Thursday) into (Friday) will be quite a well formed westerly … so that’s going to push the fire inland, back towards Caves Road and depending on the fire suppression, could extend towards the Bussell Highway.

“The fire behaviour should be much less tomorrow, it should be easier to battle the fire, but at the same time it is blowing back towards the east where will be more farms and more communities that direction.”

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