Wildfires destroy 64 homes in Western Australia

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PERTH, AUSTRALIA: Fire and Emergency Services Authority officials on Monday said that 64 homes were destroyed by the wildfires that struck Western Australia, The Australian newspaper reported.

In addition, 32 homes were damaged due to the devastating bushfires that hit the western city of Perth. The southeastern suburbs of Kelmscott and Roleystone were the most affected by the fires as about 1,000 inhabitants were evacuated.

The fires began on Saturday night and firefighters were able to control the blazes until Sunday night. So far, 15 people had been treated for fire-related injuries at Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital as well as one firefighter.

The flames burnt at least 440 hectares of land at Roleystone, located in the southeastern part of Perth, Australia. The wildfires began after a spark from an angle grinder ignited dry grass, which caused quick blazes to spread out quickly due to the 70 kilometer (43.4 miles) per hour winds.

Another bushfire broke out around 60 kilometers (37,2 miles) southeast of Perth in Jarrahdale, prompting officials to issue an alert. The Australian government deployed over 100 firefighters and 50 trucks to control the blazes.

Perth residents complained that the state's new early warning system for bushfires did no t worked as expected. Several families said that they did not receive warnings from fire authorities and text alerts arrived hours after they had fled the devastated areas.

However, the Fire and Emergency Services authority of western Australia (FESA) said the fact that there had been no deaths was proof the system worked well. FESA also declared a Total Fire Ban for Perth, Perth hills and surrounding areas and Mandurah on Monday.

Under the ban, any activity that could start a fire is prohibited between 12.01a.m. until 11.5 9 p.m. local time. Residents must not light or use any fires in the open air. In addition, metal work, grinding or similar work is not allowed.

FESA also informed that any violation to the Total Fire Ban will carry a fine of up to $25,000 or a 12-month prison sentence.

(BNO NEWS )

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