Due to out-of-control bushfires outside Australia’s western city of Perth, more than 70 homes have been lost. The fast-moving bushfires started on February 1 and hundreds of firefighters have been trying to control it. According to authorities, the fire razed more than 9,000 hectares of farm and woodland in hills east of Perth. It raged through the night near the town of Wooroloo and also affected Mundaring, Chittering, Northam, and the city of Swan.
Western Australia state’s Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said that more than 70 houses have been destroyed. Klemm said, “We’re into day three of this fire today and it’s going to continue to be a challenging fire for us for at least the next three or four or five days”. Also, many houses remained on high alert.
Mayor Kevin Bailey of Swan, one of the rural communities threatened by the blaze, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp, “We’ve got strong easterly breezes predicted. That’s of great concern for us, because there’s still a lot of active fire, even in those areas that have burned over the last couple of days. So it’s a great risk”. He added, “A lot of people were at home — they weren’t at school or work — so they were very fortunate to able to react quickly. We can’t get accurate information yet because the fire ground is unsafe for crews to assess what’s happened there”.
In another significant development, Perth on February 2, locked down for five days after Western Australia state's first case of local COVID-19 infection in almost 10 months.. The restrictions were put in place after a security guard who worked at a quarantined hotel contracted the British virus strain. Travellers who arrive at Perth will have to quarantine for a period of 14 days.