Australian bushfire threatens lives and homes
CAPE TOWN - Alarm bells went off at the weekend as a fast-moving bushfire sparked north of Perth, threatening lives and homes as firefighters worked tirelessly to contain the blaze.
Close to 95,000 hectares of land was destroyed in the Gingin and Dandaragan shires, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate.
Incident controller Sven Andersen told reporters their biggest concern was held for residential estates at Ocean Farms Estate and nearby Seaview Park.
Despite firefighters having contained lines on Thursday, Perth is bracing itself for hot, windy weather.
"We're confident in some of our containment lines, but there's a significant wind change coming in, and that will put some pressure on," said Andersen.
"We're telling people to be aware that we're not out of the woods yet. Hot spots could spot at any time.
"If that fire breaks out, it's only an hour away from those estates," he said.
Meanwhile, nine national parks in the area are temporarily closed while more than 200 firefighters, supported by 13 aircraft, battle the blaze.
“It’s not pleasant, it’s very difficult conditions to fight a fire," said Wayne Fewster, a volunteer firefighter.
“You think you’ve got it and the wind kicks up and it spots out and you haven’t got it, so it’s very difficult conditions.
"You’ve only got to get the wind shift a couple of degrees one way or the other and that’s when it puts a bit of pressure on the flanks and the containment lines and it jumps,” he said.
Residents who were in quarantine due to Covid-19 were told to shelter with family or friends, and if they were unable to return to the quarantine location within the hour, to check in with their local police station.