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Theme Park Visitors Flee Australian Bushfire

By Ron Brackett

January 12, 2021

At a Glance

  • Australia's schools are on summer vacation, and the theme park was packed with visitors.
  • The bushfire reached the edge of the park's parking lot.
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A bushfire forced families to flee an Australian theme park south of Perth on Tuesday.

Officials ordered Adventure World and the Cockburn Ice Arena to shut down as a fire that began about 1 p.m. raced toward the park's boundaries, the Australian reported.

The ice arena was evacuated and visitors in the theme park were told to gather in a parking lot on the opposite side of the park from the fire.

The 32-acre theme park in Bibra Lake was filled with visitors because schools are on summer vacation in Australia.

The Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services issued an emergency warning because of the fire at 1:24 p.m. local time.

Video images from the park showed hundreds of adults and children thronging toward the exit, many wrapped in towels they grabbed as they left the park's pools.

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"It was a little bit panicky actually. Everyone didn't know what to do," one visitor told 7 News Perth.

A few hours later, the fire services department said the fire was contained and there was no threat to lives or homes.

The fire was stopped at the edge of the park's parking lot. No injuries were reported, and the park reopened about 5 p.m.

Another fire emergency was issued for a blaze burning about 6 miles away in the city of Cockburn. Residents there were told to evacuate because of the fast-moving fire that began about 2:30 p.m., according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

They were allowed to return home shortly after 10 p.m.

Australia is in the midst of its annual bushfire season.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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