Yesterday, lightning hit the community of Hopetoun, approximately a six-hour drive south-west of Perth.
Resident Theresa Miloseski, who witnessed the lightning bolt near her home, was ordered by police shortly after to evacuate, along with her children and dogs.
“We heard a big crack and saw a plume of smoke,” Ms Miloseski said.
“I said to the kids as we were driving into town, you know, we might lose our house but we’re still alive that’s all that matters.”
Ms Miloseski said two of her neighbours weren’t as lucky and her sister, who lives in the area, also had damage to her home.
“Her house is unlivable she lives around the corner,” she said of her sister’s house.
Lightning from the same storm also produced several fires in Jerramungup, two hours west of Hopetoun.
Another home and a water pumping station were wiped out by the fires, cutting off the town’s water supply.
Throughout the state, 800,000 lightning strikes were recorded overnight.
Craig Waters from the Department of Fire and Emergency said the fires had significant damage to livestock in the area, with approximately 5,000 animals requiring euthanasia.
Commissioner Darren Klemm said extreme and unpredictable weather conditions exacerbated the fires, which quickly impacted Hopetoun, Newdegate, Jerramungup and Bremer Bay.
“The conditions in the Great Southern last night were incredibly severe – the winds were so strong that they actually tore roofs off homes near the fireground,” he said.
“A sudden wind change also changed the direction of the bushfires and firefighters had to move extremely quickly to prevent the fires from reaching more homes.
“The focus is on helping these communities get back on their feet.”
DFES has issued a ‘watch and act’ warning for residents in Crystal Park and Hopetoun’s west.
“There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a fire is approaching in the area and conditions are changing,” the statement read.
Residents in these areas have been advised to evacuate their homes, provided roads are clear or make safety preparations.
“If you are not prepared or you plan to leave, leave now if the way is clear,” DFES said.
“If you are well prepared and plan to actively defend your home, make final preparations now.”
In the eastern part of Hopetoun, residents are still warned to be wary of excessive smoke.
DFES warned that while there was no immediate threat in areas not directly impacted by the fire, conditions could soon change.
“There is a lot of smoke in the area,” DFES said.