Perth bushfire destroys 71 homes | Daily News

Perth bushfire destroys 71 homes

Fire crews control bushfires as they approach properties in Upper Swan in Perth on Tuesday.
Fire crews control bushfires as they approach properties in Upper Swan in Perth on Tuesday.

AUSTRALIA: At least 71 homes have been destroyed in a bushfire raging out of control near Australia's fourth-biggest city Perth, authorities said Wednesday, as they told residents to ignore a virus lockdown and evacuate threatened areas.

The blaze has torn through large swathes of land in the Perth Hills and was moving towards more densely populated areas.

No deaths or serious injuries have been reported so far.

"To the people who have lost their homes, it's just devastating for them. Our thoughts go out to them," Western Australian fire commissioner Darren Klemm said.

Several emergency warnings were issued with conditions set to worsen later Wednesday and strong gusting winds expected to fan the flames.

As the firefront moved west toward more populated areas, Klemm called on locals to act swiftly to escape the potentially deadly blaze. Temperatures were forecast to peak at 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on Wednesday before a predicted ex-tropical cyclone could bring rain and cooler temperatures but more unpredictable winds later this week.

More than 200 firefighters were battling the bushfire supported by water-bombing aircraft.

It comes as two million people in and around Perth begin their third day under stay-at-home orders.

More than 3.5 million hectares were burned across Western Australia during the country's devastating 2019-2020 climate change-fuelled bushfires but the state was largely spared the loss of properties and lives seen in Australia's more densely populated southeast.

- AFP