Emergency warnings remain in place throughout Western Australia as the state continues to battle bushfires that have already ravaged the town of Yarloop, south of Perth and destroyed at least 121 homes.
Yarloop was hit hard yesterday after a fire “wiped out” the entire town, including 80 per cent of its homes as well as the local hotel, post office, town hall and heritage-listed Yarloop Timber Mill Workshops.
The bushfires were believed to have been sparked by a lightning strike after it was reported shortly before 7.30am on Wednesday.
The Insurance Council of Australia declared the bushfires a catastrophe which have so far burned through 67,000 hectares of land after travelling at speeds of nearly 1.5km per hour.
Meanwhile, emergency warnings are still in place for Waroona, Harvey, Preston Beach, Lake Clifton, Myalup and surrounding areas in the Shires of Harvey and Waroona. Residents of Harvey have been asked to monitor the situation and to be prepared to leave or defend.
Community meetings have also been scheduled today in Waroona, Australind and Pinjarra.
There have been no confirmed reports of serious injuries or death. Around 60 firefighters and 5 ambulance officers from NSW will fly into Western Australia today to help combat the fires.
Here’s a look at the spread of the fires so far:
— Tweet Perth (@tweetperth) January 8, 2016
Many have taken to social media to document the bushfires in Western Australia:
My farm has burnt but thanks to the huge efforts of my incredibly wonderful husband, the local firies especially the Cookernup Fire Brigade and those devilishly clever aerial water bombers my house is safe. It takes community and a sense thereof which we truly need to foster in our cities and not just our rural towns, which helps you get through devastating times such as these. Plus amazing family and friends. Thank you to everyone for your immense help. And for my friends in Yarloop and Waroona and Cookernup who have lost so much my heart goes out to you. Stay safe #waroonafire #yarloopfire #cookernupfire
More information can be found at the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website.
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