Wildfire rips through Perth suburbs


Wildfires have swept through some Perth suburbs

Wildfires have torn across the outskirts of an Australian city, destroying at least 35 homes and injuring a firefighter, authorities said.

Two fires fanned by hot summer winds were burning in forested areas to the north and southeast of Perth in Western Australia state, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority said.

At Roleystone and the nearby community of Kelmscott, residents were told to evacuate from the path of a fire that had claimed 35 homes and was threatening more, the authority said.

“There is a threat to lives and homes. You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive,” it said in a warning statement. It said people should leave immediately if they believe the path is clear, otherwise they should dig in and be prepared to take shelter in their homes.

Television news showed a fire front raging and several houses burned to the ground in the area, a hilly region where houses are nestled among trees on large blocks of land.

Authority spokesman Rick Tyers said the strong winds and huge plumes of smoke were making firefighting very difficult.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that one firefighter was taken to a hospital.

Further north, in the Swan Valley district, some 150 firefighters using six water-bombing helicopters and trucks were battling another wildfire.

About 100 people were told to evacuate their homes as authorities tried to contain the blaze, which has scorched about 2,000 acres of forest land so far.

The fires in Australia’s far west come as huge areas of the east coast recover from a huge cyclone that struck in Queensland state last week and from flooding from drenching rains in Queensland and in southern Victoria state.

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