Western Australia’s Bushfire Contained but Not Secure

Western Australia’s Bushfire Contained but Not Secure

11 January 2011

published by english.cri.cn

Australia — About 150 firefighters, who have been battling since Monday night, had the Western Australia’s bushfire contained but not secure, with winds later on Tuesday expected to hamper firefighting efforts.

Hundreds of residents were forced to flee their homes on Monday afternoon shortly after the blaze broke out at Lake Clifton, 100 km south of Perth, Western Australia.

Police have confirmed that four houses were destroyed but believed at least another two were burnt down as the fire swept through the area. Farm sheds, livestock, vehicles, powerlines and fences have also been destroyed.

The bushfire has so far burnt about 2,000 hectares, and authorities said the blaze developed from about several smaller fires that had been deliberately lit.

According to Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) incident controller John Tillman, the fire had a containment track around it, but firefighters still had a lot of work to do with ” hot edges” burning trees and downed powerlines.

“If we can get through today holding the current perimeter then we will be reasonably confident,”Tillman told Australia Associated Press on Tuesday.

Tillman said several ignition points had been found for the fire, indicating arson, and it was infuriating for firefighters and the community that fires were deliberately lit.

“Their livelihoods, their homes can get destroyed just through some very careless or willful type arson,”he said.

About 200 residents who evacuated the threatened suburbs of Tuart Grove and Armstrong Hill attended a public meeting in Waroona on Tuesday, but were told roads remained closed and they may not be allowed to return to their home until Wednesday.

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