Three German backpackers and a farmer who tried to warn others about a bushfire burning out of control near Esperance in WA are believed to have died while still in their vehicles.
WA Fire Commissioner Wayne Gregson confirmed two men and two women had died in fires in the Grass Patch and Salmon Gums areas.
Commissioner Gregson said he understood one man was in one vehicle and the other victims were in a second.
The ABC understands one of the men who died was a local farmer who had been driving around neighbouring properties telling people to evacuate.
Farmers helping fight the fire have also told the ABC three German backpackers died in a second vehicle.
Police are yet to confirm the identities of those killed.
Esperance resident Andy Johnston told the ABC the farmer ensured his neighbours had escaped, before jumping in his own car to drive away.
Commissioner Gregson said he had no knowledge of earlier reports suggesting a further two deaths.
“There’s been no reports at this stage of any other injuries, or any other persons missing,” he said.
Mr Gregson said three buildings had been lost in the fires that were started by lightning strikes.
Esperance Shire President Victoria Brown said the remote coastal community was in shock after “the day from hell”.
“It was devastating,” she said.
“They got many of the fires out, but there were a few still burning, and they combined into an inferno.”
WA Premier Colin Barnett and Emergency Services Minister have arrived in Esperance.
Mr Barnett said he was devastated at the loss of four lives in the fires near Esperance.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said people should put their thoughts and prayers with the Esperance community in particular, the family and friends of the deceased.
“It’s a terrible tragedy and its a horrible way to start what’s obviously going to be an incredibly challenging bushfire season.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is at the APEC summit in the Philippines, said Australians applauded the firefighters and SES workers as they put their lives on the line to keep communities safe.
“Summer can be a very challenging and dangerous time in Australia as we know, and this is a tragic event,” he said.
“Four lives lost in this fire in Esperance, so as I said, the Federal Government is committed to providing the support that it does in these circumstances.
“I’ve spoken to the Justice Minister Michael Keenan who is responsible for emergency response and I’ve also spoken to the Premier of Western Australia … at this stage, Colin says he’s keeping federal agencies briefed, but … there is not a need for the involvement of federal agencies as such, but we are obviously ready to provide assistance whenever required.”
Commissioner Gregson said more than 300 people had been evacuated from Scaddan, Grass Patch, and Salmon Gums to Norseman to the north and Esperance to the south.