Fire in Australia

Fire in Australia

07 February 2011

Trauma from bushfire will go on: Barnett

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has expressed sympathy for residents of the“ bushfire-ravaged Perth hills region.

Mr Barnett declared Roleystone, Kelmscott and Red Hill natural disaster zones on Monday following the loss of 41 homes and significant damage to another 19.

He warned that the situation remains extremely dangerous.

“I stress the fires are still not in control although the situation is clearly a lot better than it was yesterday,” Mr Barnett told reporters.

“The situation still remains out of control. Over 100 fire fighters are at the scene today and obviously the situation is made very dangerous because of the high winds and very difficult terrain.”

Besides the loss of so much property, thee bushfire has destroyed the Buckingham bridge and damaged to power lines, roads and other public infrastructure.

Mr Barnett said three people had been admitted to hospital for smoke inhalation and one volunteer fire fighter was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident.

He stressed that it had been heartening to see most residents had followed advice from fire fighters and opted to leave their homes.

“I congratulate the people in the area in very distressing circumstances for taking the advice of the professionals working in the area and for evacuating and leaving their homes,” the premier said.

“That would be a very difficult thing to do; hard to imagine.

“A result of that good sense and proper management of this serious fire is that there has been no loss of life and that’s something we should all be thankful for.”

Residents whose homes have been destroyed can apply for $3,000 in financial assistance while those whose homes have been extensively damaged will get $1000.

The City of Perth Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund has launched the Perth Hills Bushfire appeal for the community to donate to those affected by the fire.

“On behalf of the WA government and people of the state, I do extend my sincere sympathy to thosepeople who have lost their homes and suffered damage,” Mr Barnett said.

“The stress, the trauma of this will go on for some time.”


Perth Area Declared Disaster Zone as Out-of-Control Wildfire Razes Homes

Western Australia’s state premier, Colin Barnett, declared an area near the state capital of Perth a natural disaster zone after a bushfire raging out of control on the fringes of the city destroyed 59 structures.

Homes, sheds and carports have been destroyed by the blaze, Natasha Thorson, a spokeswoman with the Fire & Emergency Services Authority, or FESA, said in a phone interview today.

The fires started yesterday in the Roleystone and Kelmscott areas in Perth’s south-east from sparks by a machinist using an angle grinder, cited a FESA spokesman, which it didn’t identify, as saying.

More than 100 firefighters are battling the blaze, which is moving at 100 meters an hour in numerous directions with flames reaching three meters, FESA said. The bushfire poses a “threat to lives and homes,” the authority said.

The blaze has burned about 440 hectares, has cut power and closed two schools in the area. Two helicopters are assisting, FESA said. There are no reports of injuries.

The state government will provide immediate financial help to people affected by the fire, Barnett said in an e-mailed statement today.

Authorities have issued emergency warnings for the south western part of Roleystone and south eastern part of Kelmscott in Armadale, about 30 kilometers from Perth’s city center. Emergency warnings are also in place for Brigadoon, Baskerville, Millendon, Red Hill and Herne Hill in the city of Swan.

The fires are threatening outlying suburbs of Perth almost two years to the day bushfires cut a swath through the state of Victoria in Australia’s southeast corner. Bushfires that swept across Victoria on Feb. 7, 2009 killed 173 people and razed 450,000 hectares of land as temperatures soared to as high as 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit).

Services were being held across Victoria today to mark the anniversary.


41 Homes Destroyed In Australian Wildfire

41 homes were destroyed and 19 more were damaged from a wildfire that spread across Roleystone, Australia over the weekend. The fire reportedly started when a man using an electric grinder in his backyard ignited dry grass with sparks, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority said in a statement

A firefighter was reportedly injured, and is currently in stable condition at a hospital, according to reports. No further details of how that female firefighter was hurt were reported.

Chief operations officer, Craig Hynes, told reporters that the numbers could rise as a survey of the area continued. “The pleasing thing is that there’s been no serious injuries or fatalities,” said Hynes.

According to Fire and Emergency Services Authority spokesman Alan Gale, another blaze has destroyed 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) of forested land to the north and southeast of Perth since Saturday.

Video: Video of wildfire raging in Australia, at least 35 homes destroyed


Schools in Clifton Hills and Kelmscott closed due to Black Sunday bushfires

PARENTS of pupils at Clifton Hills and Kelmscott primary schools are asked to keep children home due to out-of-control bushfires.

The Department of Education advises Clifton Hills Primary School and Kelmscott Primary School will be closed on Monday.

Fires damaging homes in Kelmscott have reportedly spread as close as 15 metres to Kelmscott Primary School, but so far no damage to the site has been reported.

Parents are asked to keep students at home or to contact the South Metropolitan District Education Office on 9336 3563 for further advice.

More than 100 career and volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Bush Fire Service and Department of Environment and Conservation firefighters are on the scene.

The fire started at 11.42pm on Sunday and currently there has been 400 hectares burnt.

It was started accidentally by a person using a grinder.


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