At least 71 homes have been destroyed in the raging wildfires near Perth in Western Australia according to authorities, who have asked residents to ignore the containment in place to evacuate. Hundreds of people have fled the area since Monday 1is February, and many spent the night in evacuation centers.
The blaze has ravaged large swathes of land in the hills of Perth, the country’s fourth-largest city, and is moving to more densely populated areas. No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported so far.
The situation should get worse
“It was just scorched earth. Even where I was, behind the fire, it was still burning, because the teams had to react so quickly ”Mayor Kevin Bailey told public broadcaster ABC.
Smoke darkened the sky over Perth, about 30 kilometers west of the blaze, which extended over a 75 kilometer radius on Tuesday. “For people who have lost their homes, it is just appalling. Our thoughts are with them ”, said Darren Klemm, Fire Marshal for Western Australia. “The evacuation overrides any quarantine requirements people may have”, he insisted, as two million people begin their third day of confinement in the Perth area.
Several emergency alerts have been issued as the situation is expected to worsen with strong gusts of wind forecast for Wednesday that risk stoking the flames.
Last year, more than 3.5 million hectares were burnt in Western Australia in devastating bushfires fueled by climate change.