Perth Area Declared Disaster Zone as Out-of-Control Wildfire Razes Homes
Western Australias 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 Perths south-east from sparks by a machinist using an angle grinder, WAToday.com cited a FESA spokesman, which it didnt 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 Perths 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 Australias 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 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