A bushfire in the City of Cockburn has caused traffic chaos in Perth’s south, with the closure of a section of Kwinana Freeway resulting in a standstill approaching peak hour.
Firefighters were called to a blaze in Atwell around 2pm this afternoon near the intersection of St Claire Gardens and Paradise Gardens in Atwell.
The bushfire warning was upgraded to emergency level around 2:30 this afternoon, with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services warning lives and homes were under threat.
Kwinana Freeway southbound was closed southbound between Armadale Road to Russell Road, before both lanes were shut as the bushfire jumped the freeway.
The freeway was reopened just after 4pm, but remains heavy on approach and delays are expected.
Transperth train services remain cancelled between Cockburn and Rockingham.
The train closures are already causing headaches as peak hour approaches, with hundreds of commuters lining up for replacement bus services.
There is still a lot of smoke in the area, and residents have been warned to stay aware and keep up to date in case the situation changes.
Resident Kris Barnes said the blaze came within about 30 meters of his home on Paradise Grove in Atwell.
He said he saw the fire moving quickly towards him and jumping the freeway.
“That was unsettling because it’s quite a jump,” he said.
Mr Barnes stayed to defend his neighbours’ homes as well as his own and was preparing the leave when the blaze died down.
“The firies and the water bombers worked very quickly, they seemed really well coordinated,” he said.
“I hope they get the recognition they deserve because they saved my house today.”
No homes were damaged in the blaze and firefighters are now patrolling and mopping up the area.