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australia bushfire


At least three people are missing in after a bushfire devastated the town of Yarloop in Western Australia, and continues to threaten others.

Yarloop, south of Perth, was worst hit, with at least 130 properties destroyed.

State Premier Colin Barnett has said the town will be rebuilt.

The blaze, covering some 70,000 hectares, is approaching Harvey.

Yarloop is being evacuated and emergency warnings remain in place for Waroona and other areas.

Winds of up to 37mph had fanned the blaze, known as the Waroona fire, to heights of 150ft.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

The strong winds have now eased, but the fire, which began on January 6, remains unpredictable.

“We’re seeing conditions that we’ve not seen before on this type of fire, particularly when it went through Yarloop,” Western Australia Fire Commissioner Wayne Gregson said.

Some 250 firefighters are reported to be deployed, and reinforcements are being sent from New South Wales.

Premier Colin Barnett, visiting Yarloop residents at an evacuation centre, said the town would continue “but probably not a Yarloop of its previous size”.

It remains unclear how many of the town’s more than 500 residents will be able to return.

Four firefighters were injured battling the blaze in Yarloop and one fire truck was destroyed.

The loss of property in Yarloop is described as “significant” with the pub, bowling club and historic timber workshops destroyed.

The Western Australia bushfire comes less than a month after southern Victoria was struck by similar blazes.

More than 100 homes were destroyed by an outbreak on Christmas Day.


A bushfire on Christmas Day has destroyed more than 100 homes in Australia’s Victoria state, officials say.

Ninety eight homes had been razed in Wye River and 18 at Separation Creek, officials say. No injuries are reported.

Hundreds of firefighters have been battling the blaze along the famous Great Ocean Road in Victoria’s south-west, popular with holidaymakers.

A change to cooler weather and rain has greatly reduced the threat, but some emergency warnings remain in place.

Some 1,600 residents and tourists from the popular tourist spot of Lorne were evacuated on December 25 amid fears that a wind change would push the fire towards the town, but were allowed to return on December 26.Australia bushfire Christmas Day

Many of those forced to leave their homes had to spend Christmas night in hastily-arranged shelters.

More than 500 firefighters, 60 tankers and 18 aircraft have been involved in fighting the flames.

Victoria Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said they were “working around the clock to bring this fire under control”.

Craig Lapsley warned that although the immediate threat had eased, the fire had the “potential to burn” for weeks to come.

Thousands of tourists typically descend on the area in the days after Christmas to visit coastal towns.

Many residents and holidaymakers were forced to flee, as festivities were abandoned when the scale of the threat became apparent.

Anyone still planning to travel to the area is being asked to check emergency warnings and to avoid the Great Ocean Road if possible.

The Falls Music and Arts Festival, which is held annually near Lorne, may not go ahead because of the fires, its organizers said.

The fire began with a lightning strike on December 19 and has been fanned by strong winds and intense heat in recent days, burning across 5,437 acres so far.

Victoria is one of the most fire-prone regions in the world.

Many bushfires are started by lightning strikes, while others are sparked accidentally by campers or discarded cigarettes.