By Sally McGlew
MORE than 400 people were camped around the Brown Park community centre in Swan View on Tuesday where temporary shelter was offered for City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring residents escaping the bushfire raging across the Perth Hills.
When Brown Park reached maximum capacity, a second facility at Swan Active Midland was opened.
A third facility opened at Swan Active, Beechboro also on Tuesday.
Greg and Danielle Murray from Millendon were camping by their car on Salisbury Road, Swan View with dog Jack and Calais the cat until they could return home.
“In 2012 we were evacuated as well so we’ve been through this before,” Mr Murray said.
“As far as we know the house is safe although last time our neighbours lost sheds and fencing,” he said.
Next to them, was Susie from Ellenbrook with her two older dogs lying in the back of the car.
For English setter’s Dalai and Miu Miu there is still hope their owner will have a home to go to in Ellenbrook after the fires have passed.
“I left my sprinklers going on the roof and dampened everything down before I left home so hopefully the fire will skip my house,” Susie said.
She left her house at 2am Tuesday morning with the dogs in the back of her VW station wagon.
Her 14-year-old dogs were hot and heat-stressed but a resident on Salisbury Street offered her a bucket and a hose to help cool them down.
While she was giving them a drink a woman drove past and yelled out of her car asking if she needed dog food but Susie shook her head.
“The dogs won’t eat when their stressed,” she said.
Further along the side of the road, Ellenbrook couple Kathy and Hugh and their neighbours from Oban Way, David and Carol were camped in chairs together with eskies, phones and ipads.
“We evacuated together,” Carol said.
“When the white ash fell on the back table we left,” Carol said.
They lamented not bringing the scrabble board but Hugh said his 12 string guitar had saved the day.
Kathy said they had the car packed early with, wedding photos, clothes and camping chairs.
“We kept meeting through the night over the back fence and decided to leave together and stay together when we got here,” she said.
“If we haven’t got a home to go back to so be it, we got the most important stuff out,” Hugh said.
David said volunteers and staff had done an amazing job at the evacuation centre and they felt well-cared for.
“We think its marvellous and have nothing but praise for the support here,” he said.