Hundreds Of Australians Flee As Bushfires Ravage Homes In Locked-Down City Of Perth
Bushfires have broken out in Australia, causing hundreds of families to evacuate their homes.
The fires first broke out in the city of Perth on Monday, February 1, and are being described as the worst the city has seen in years.
It’s believed the fire has already burnt through 9,000 hectares and destroyed nearly 100 homes.
The fires are being described as ‘unprecedented and extremely dangerous’, and are thought to have be caused by the country’s recent hot and dry conditions, with strong winds causing it to spread rapidly.
See local news coverage here:
Australian politician Mark McGowan spoke at the Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Incident Control Centre, where he said as per 9News, ‘We’re facing disasters on two fronts: the devastating bushfires, and the COVID-19 pandemic. It will test us all – the fire has devastated our community. We know that 71 homes have been lost. That number is expected to rise.’
Western Australia (WA) is currently in lockdown due to the ongoing health crisis, but residents are being advised to prioritise their immediate safety over the virus risk, which is supposedly very low, reported BBC News.
WA Fire Commissioner Darren Klemm said:
The important thing is the preservation of life. So, if you’re quarantining and you’re required to evacuate, you should just evacuate.
The city went into a snap lockdown on Sunday, January 31, as a result of its first local infection in 10 months.
It’s believed the first fire was spotted in the town of Wooroloo, and began burning around 30km east of central Perth.
In light of the fire’s rapid spread, evacuation warnings have been issued for communities north and north-east of Perth, including the suburbs of Shady Hills, Bullsbrook, The Vines and Aveley.
Klemm told residents, ‘If you are not prepared, you should leave now. That north-west corner of the fire is extremely difficult to control, in incredibly steep terrain. We’re unable to get earth moving equipment in there.’
As the fire service has been unable to get its earthmoving equipment there, fire crews have been using large air tankers and fixed-wing water bombers to lay retardant lines across the region instead, according to 9News.
We’re only going to see the wind strengthen over the course of the day, which will make that fire in difficult, steep terrain incredibly difficult to stop running up the hill towards Shady Hills estate.
This month’s bushfires come after the country were ravaged by wildfires that raged from the second half of 2019 to the start of 2020, which lead to three billion animals dying.
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