Roads reopened following monumental firefighting effort
** Please note as a result of the Balladonia bushfire breaching containment lines on Tuesday 9 January and impacting the Eyre Highway in several places, the highway will remain closed. Although weather conditions have eased, the fire is not yet contained. The highway will only re-opened when it is safe to do so. **
The Coolgardie-Esperance Highway has been reopened to provide relief to stranded travellers after a tremendous effort from firefighters battling several bushfires in the region.
Emergency services are also optimistic that the Eyre Highway and the West Australia-South Australia border will be opened within 48 hours, provided conditions remain favourable.
The Norseman bushfire complex has torn through more than 260,000 hectares and forced the closure of several major highways, with firefighters working tirelessly around the clock to make the area safe.
Restricted Access Permits are required to travel along the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway and will be issued to people who are travelling north to Kalgoorlie-Boulder or Coolgardie, or south to Esperance.
Restricted access permits can be obtained daily from 7am to 6pm at 55 Prinsep Street in Norseman, the Salmon Gums Vehicle Control Point and the Goldfields Highway intersection Vehicle Control Point along Coolgardie-Esperance Highway.
Drivers must be able to provide proof of residence or destination arrangements in these locations for permit approval. To ensure the safety of travellers, the Highway will only be open from 5am to 7pm for permit holders.
Firefighters are currently patrolling Eyre Highway and clearing tree branches and other debris in preparation for opening the road, however fire conditions could escalate and the situation may change. This was evident today when strong winds caused a bushfire near Salmon Gums to significantly increase in speed, causing the warning level to be upgraded to a Watch and Act.
Travellers from South Australia are strongly recommended to postpone their departure as there are limited facilities at the border and temperatures in the Goldfields could reach up to 40 degrees tomorrow.
For more information, contact the DFES Community Liaison Unit via email: CLU@dfes.wa.gov.au.
To stay up to date with the latest warnings visit emergency.wa.gov.au, follow DFES on Facebook and Twitter, call 13 DFES and listen to local news bulletins.