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Severe fire danger warning issued as extreme heat, wind heightens bushfire threat

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Sarah StegerThe West Australian
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A fire weather warning has been issued as WA swelters through a heatwave.
Camera IconA fire weather warning has been issued as WA swelters through a heatwave. Credit: Supplied/TheWest

A fire weather warning has been issued for WA as the State swelters through a week-long heatwave.

Very hot, sunny and windy weather forecast for Perth on Tuesday and Wednesday - with temperatures expected to hit 37C and 38C respectively - making for prime bushfire conditions.

On Monday night the State Emergency Service was called to the Gosnells Community Lotteries House after it lost part of its roof as winds reached around 70km/h.

Very gusty winds topping 90km/h are expected near the hills and foothills on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The weather bureau is urging West Australians to prepare their homes and have a fire plan in place.

There is a chance of a thunderstorm on Tuesday night, but the temperatures will soar again on Wednesday despite a chance of some cloud cover.

Northern WA is also set to endure harsh conditions, with the mercury set to top 40C in some parts including Fitzroy Crossing and Paraburdoo for the next week.

It comes after WA recorded its coolest spring in two decades, and wettest since 2014 with rainfall 35 per cent above the 1961-1990 average.

The shift came late last week, when an extreme heatwave nudged the mercury at Marble Bar to a scorching 46.8C on Thursday, making it the hottest place in Australia, while temperatures at Roebourne Airport near Karratha reached 46.4C on Saturday.

Very hot and dry conditions over northern and central parts are predicted, with a trough to extend from the western Pilbara to the central west district.

A fire weather warning was issued on Tuesday for the fire weather districts of the East Pilbara Coast, West Pilbara Coast, East Pilbara Inland, Ashburton Inland, Gascoyne Inland and Inland Central West.

Total fire bans are in place for Chapman Valley, greater Geraldton, Mingenew, Morawa and Northampton.

Moderate to fresh and gusty winds (tracking northeast to southeast) over the eastern Pilbara, Gascoyne and central west districts will tend northwest to southwest over the western Gascoyne, coastal Pilbara and the adjacent central west district in the afternoon.

Severe fire danger ratings have been issued on Tuesday for the fire weather districts of east Pilbara coast, west Pilbara coast, east Pilbara inland, Ashburton inland, Gascoyne inland and inland central west – north.

On Wednesday the danger is even greater, with the Exmouth gulf coast, coastal central west - south, inland central west - south, lower west coast, lower west inland, Mortlock, Ninghan and Avon districts issued a severe fire danger rating.

While the west coast swelters, residents on the east coast are preparing for another deluge as already flood-battered parts of New South Wales brace for more wet weather.

Prompted by La Nina, multiple flood warnings remain active across the State including for the Lachlan, Murray and Macintyre rivers.

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