Trauma from bushfire will go on: Barnett

Trauma from bushfire will go on: Barnett

07 February 2011

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Australia — 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.”

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