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Perth Bushfire Burning Out of Control, Destroying Homes

Australia wildfire has raged through 18K acres so far
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 2, 2021 12:00 AM CST

(Newser) – An out-of-control wildfire burning northeast of the Australian west coast city of Perth has destroyed an estimated 30 homes and was threatening more Tuesday, with many locals across the region told it is too late to leave, the AP reports. The 17,000-acre blaze, which has a 47-mile perimeter, began Monday and raged through the night near the town of Wooroloo, with the shires of Mundaring, Chittering, Northam, and the city of Swan impacted. Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey said more than 30 homes are believed to have been destroyed. “We are just waiting for confirmation of the numbers but we’re looking somewhere in the vicinity of 30-plus homes lost,” Bailey said. Bailey said one firefighter had been treated for smoke inhalation. There had been no other injuries.

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Western Australia state's Department of Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Craig Waters said the fire had doubled in size overnight and burned through 18,202 acres of farm and woodland. “Strong winds are hampering us getting in and containing the fire and bringing it under control,” he said. State Premier Mark McGowan said 80% of all properties near Gidgegannup on Perth's northeast rural fringe have been lost. “This is an extremely dangerous fire and a serious situation. Weather conditions are extremely volatile,” McGowan said. Roads out of semi-rural suburb The Vines on Perth’s northern outskirts were bumper-to-bumper with traffic, making some people choose to stay. (Perth locked down Sunday after a single COVID case.)

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