Rain relief is expected after another dangerous night on the frontline of a devastating bushfire in the Perth hills that has destroyed at least 86 homes.
Hopes are high that forecast weekend rain will help firefighters get on top of the week-long blaze as a tropical low tracks towards the south-west.
But weary firefighters are set to face their toughest challenge, with conditions forecast to worsen before they get better.
“We are expecting incredibly strong winds – stronger than we’ve had already – tomorrow ahead of that tropical low,” the Department of Fire and Emergency Services commissioner, Darren Klemm, told reporters on Friday.
“At this time, we’re being advised that we will see rain on or about the fire ground at approximately 11am [on Saturday]. But between now and then, we have still got the challenges of these really strong winds.”
Efforts to allow some residents to return home are continuing with areas east of Toodyay Road opening up from 4pm on Friday.
Firefighters have worked overtime to clear damage from seriously affected areas, including fallen powerlines, while also dealing with flare-ups on the northern flank of the bushfire.
Emergency alerts remain in place, with people bound by Clenton Road, O’Brien Road and Ewing Road warned there is still uncontained fire activity.
“If you plan to leave, leave now if the way is clear by travelling in a direction away from the fire,” DFES said.
“You must shelter before the fire arrives as the extreme heat will kill you well before the flames reach you.”