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Western Australia's bushfire destroys over 70 homes

Western Australia's bushfire destroys over 70 homes”

DFES said anyone forced to leave their homes should wear a mask and continue to follow social distancing precautions to comply with Western Australia's current COVID-19 health regulations.

Fire fighting conditions are said to be challenging, with hot and dry temperatures and strong winds expected to persist, raising the likelihood of further spread of the bushfire.

Perth Province Premier Mark McGowan said, "To all those impacted by the fires, can I say, every single Western Australian is thinking of you today".

At least 56 homes have been destroyed and firefighters were said to be working in "extremely volatile" conditions to prevent more properties from being lost.

The fires have so far covered about 10,000 hectares of land.

"That is a concern ahead of some hard conditions today where we're going to see the wind shift to the southeast and that'll bring that northern flank under pressure", WA's Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Commissioner Darren Klemm said.

Perth and its surrounds had been in lockdown since Sunday as a pandemic precaution, but those threatened by the fire were exempted from the pandemic stay-at-home order so they could evacuate.

The WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services shared terrifying footage of the raging bushfire.

"We know how quickly things can go bad", state premier Mark McGowan told a news conference, adding that one of his personal acquaintances had lost their home.

"What we don't want is indecision from people about whether they should evacuate or not when we require them to evacuate", he said. "That evacuation overrides any quarantining requirements that people might have", Klemm said, as reported by CNN.

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Hundreds of people fled the area in recent days and emergency warnings remain in place.

In Gidgegannup, the Coghill family recalled the horror of watching the home they built more than two decades ago burn to the ground on Monday night.

"We're into day three in this fire".

"It's some of the best news but also the saddest - a lot of people haven't been so lucky", he said.

"It was just scorched earth".

More than 200 firefighters are battling the bushfire supported by water-bombing aircraft.

Australia suffered extreme bushfires in its most-populated eastern states last summer, but those areas have largely experienced cooler and wetter conditions this year - influenced by a La Nina weather phenomenon.

"Tonight, given the terrain, will be extremely unsafe".

"Urban-bushland living will increasingly mean living with bushfire threat as climate change brings with it more frequent high bushfire danger conditions days", said Jim McLennan, a bushfire researcher at La Trobe University.



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