Homes have been destroyed by a bushfire south of Perth after strong winds pushed the blaze into Waroona town.
The out-of-control and unpredictable fire was sparked by lightning and began in the steep terrain of the Darling Range to the town's east early Friday morning.
An emergency warning remained in place as homes throughout the town were under threat with embers being blown far by the strong winds.
"They were so strong and pushing in our direction," said Marissa Tiedemann, who lives about 1km from the fire front.
Locals are staying calm, buoyed by the efforts of 150 firefighters and water-bombing aircraft.
At least one house was gutted and there were unconfirmed reports that up to five others near the town have been damaged.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services operations area manager Rick Curtis said the fire had burnt through 325ha of bush.
More than 60 residents were evacuated to the Harvey Town Hall.
Waroona resident Elia Melia said, "The fire is just above us and we got a call about 12.30am saying we had to evacuate. We really want to get back home to see if our house is okay ... The smoke was so thick we couldn't see."
Waroona Shire chief executive Ian Curley applauded the efforts of authorities, who worked in "cyclonic" winds that he said were the strongest he had witnessed in 10 years in the town. "It was difficult to stand up outside the town hall and loose objects were blowing around," he said. "Firefighters were standing in that wind and flames in the dark."
Almost 200 residents attended a community meeting in Harvey yesterday, as DFES incident controller Allan Riley spoke about the challenging conditions.
"The strong winds and the tiredness of firefighters are our main challenges. Those firefighters that fought the fire are the same ones who have worked during fires over the past two weeks," he said.
Mr Riley said crews were on high alert and if the winds picked up the fire could threaten the town further.