Spectators view a bushfire at Belmont Racecourse from Optus Stadium on day two of the first Test between Australia and New Zealand. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
Spectators view a bushfire at Belmont Racecourse from Optus Stadium on day two of the first Test between Australia and New Zealand. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP

Fire breaks out near Test venue

FIREFIGHTERS have had to scramble to control a fire across the road from Perth's Optus Stadium, where Australia and New Zealand are doing battle in the first cricket Test.

A scrub fire broke out at Belmont Racecourse about an hour before play started on Friday, with thick smoke billowing from the site but not immediately in the direction of the $1.6 billion stadium.

Play got under way as scheduled at 1pm local time, with the mercury already hovering at 39 degrees.

A top of 41C is forecast for Friday and Saturday, with 40C forecast for Sunday.

The fire was out of control and unpredictable, moving in a westerly direction at 500m per hour.

Fans heading to the cricket were shocked to see smoke billowing from the racecourse, just a few hundred metres from the stadium.

"We hope that everything is in order there. We wish anyone that's trying to control that all the best," Adam Gilchrist said during Fox Sports pre-game coverage.

Smoke can be seen from inside Optus Stadium.

Perth is sweltering through a record heatwave.

with AAP

News Corp Australia

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