The Waroona bushfire, 100 km south of Perth, burnt 69,000 ha, destroyed more than 160 homes and caused two fatalities in Yarloop in January 2016. During the first two days of the fire, which hit both the towns of Waroona and Yarloop, there were four periods of extreme fire behaviour: two involving massive pyrocumulonimbus (bushfire thunderstorm clouds) and two major ember showers.
Pyrocumulonimbus developed over the fire on the evening of 6 January and around midday on 7 January. Destructive ember showers occurred on two consecutive evenings: at Waroona on 6 January, and then Yarloop on 7 January. The Yarloop ember storm destroyed the town.
Extreme fire behaviour: Reconstructing the Waroona Fire Pyrocumulonimbus and ember storms, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Dr Mika Peace and Dr Jeff Kepert
Bureau of Meteorology