Hundreds evacuated as Perth bushfire grows

Australians flee massive bushfire near Perth amid coronavirus lockdown

Over 200 firefighters were working in the field day and night trying to contain the blaze, which had already burned through more than 9,400 hectares of land. Six firefighters have suffered injuries.

So far more than 7500 hectares have been devastated.

Hundreds of residents were forced to take shelter at evacuation centers, although people in some areas were later told it was too unsafe to leave their homes.

Perth has been in a five-day lockdown after a coronavirus infection was detected on Sunday.

"The most important thing is preservation of life, and so if you're quarantining and you're required to evacuate, you should just evacuate".

"What we don't want is indecision from people about whether they should evacuate or not when we require them to evacuate, so that evacuation overrides any quarantining requirements that people may have", Klemm said.

Officials have urged people to wear masks and self-isolate where possible at evacuation centres.

As firefighters battled a blaze in steep, inhospitable terrain, authorities told residents of Bullsbrook, a suburb of 6,600 in Australia's fourth largest city, to ignore a stay-home order and leave immediately as hot, dry weather picked up.

Parts of the city were rated the worst in Australia for air quality.

"They are expecting extremely strong winds".

Perth has experienced days of temperatures over 30 Celsius as well as long periods of dry weather.

"Right now, Western Australia is battling two different kinds of emergencies, a unsafe fire emergency and a Covid-19 lockdown emergency", Premier Mark McGowan told media.

Under the measures, around 2 million residents of Perth, as well as residents of nearby Peel and the southwest regions, must stay at home. This case is the first case reported in the span of 10 months. No new cases have been reported since then. On 3 February, it was reported that the bushfires are still ongoing as they are now experiencing hot and dry weather conditions.

Authorities had predicted that the other side of the country - Western Australia - would see the greatest fire danger this summer. The fires that are moving in a west-south-westerly direction is expected to destroy more properties in its wake.

"We can't get accurate information yet because the fire ground is unsafe for crews to assess what's happened there", Bailey said.

"The changing climate. and moisture deficit in the soil is impacting how the fire behaves", he said.

"Tonight, given the terrain, will be extremely unsafe".

Related:

Comments


Other news