Seven bushfires near Perth, Western Australia

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Fourteen houses have been destroyed and another 3 damaged by a bush fire burning in Jarrah forests and farmland near the historical timber town of Dwellingup 70km south east of Perth, Western Australia.

The fire has also destroyed approximately 100 power poles, leading to a loss of telecommunication services to the town and affecting water supplies. Mobile generators have been installed for emergency power.

Steve Slavin, spokesman for Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), said that 250 fire-fighters are containing the fire with crews concentrating on the southern front, which is now within 3 km of the town.

Mr Slavin said “Our concern is that winds this afternoon will be swinging around to the south and increasing in intensity.” “It’s making us nervous. The advice we’re giving to people in Dwellingup is if they’ve decided that they will leave, this would be a good time to do it”

In separate fires near North Yunderup, Greenfields and Parkland have affected transmission lines supplying power to approximately 56,000 properties.

Additional fires are burning near Toodyay 85km north east of Perth, Another fire is burning near Williams approximately 160 south east of Perth and 90Km east of Dwellingup. And in the southern rural suburb of Forrestdale. These fires are reported to be under control.

Western Australian Police Arson squad are investigating these fires as some appear to be deliberately lit. The Police are also investigating the death of a women in her mid 20’s who died on Saturday after her car rolled while fleeing the fire near Toodyay.

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