Australia Wildfire Destroys at Least Two Homes, Injures Two
Perth wildfire

This image made from video shows home engulfed in flames outside Perth, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. A wildfire burning out of control on the outskirts of the Australian west coast city of Perth on Thursday appeared to have destroyed or damaged a number of homes. (Australian Broadcasting Corp/Channel 7/Channel 9 via AP)

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A wildfire burning out of control on the outskirts of the Australian west coast city of Perth on Thursday destroyed at least two homes and injured two people, officials said.

An emergency warning was issued for the eastern suburb of Parkerville where the fire was sparked by a tree branch falling on power lines on Thursday morning. The alert warned that the fire posed a threat to lives and homes.

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At least two homes had been “completely lost,” Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said.

The full extent of the damage wouldn’t be known until inspection crews were able to survey the fire zone.

Two men in their 60s were hospitalized after being injured by the fire in separate incidents, media reported. One had minor burns and the other an injured foot. The ambulance service didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fire authorities reported late Thursday that the fire had been contained but remained out of control after razing 90 hectares (220 acres).

One of the destroyed homes belonged to Mark Norton who lives near where the fire started and had little time to escape.

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“The fire was on both sides: really, really hot,” Norton told Australian Broadcasting Corp. “It was an awful experience.”

“The fire was still the height of the trees when I left. How they (firefighters) managed to contain that in such a short period of time in 39-degree (Celsius; 102 F) heat with this wind — they’re amazing, they really are,” Norton added.

Power was off at more than 150 properties and several roads had been cut off.

Parkerville resident Yvonne Blyth said that her car was packed with her children’s Christmas gifts in case the family had to evacuate their home, which is located in a forest. The fire had come close but appeared to be moving away from her home of 18 years, she said.

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“We’ve seen three or four fires now, but this was the closest one,” Blyth said.

“We all love living in the forest, but this is the scariest part of living around here. It’s absolutely terrifying,” Blyth added.

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PERTH, Australia (AP) — A wildfire burning out of control on the outskirts of the Australian west coast city of Perth on Thursday destroyed at least two homes and injured two people, officials said. An emergency warning was issued for the eastern suburb of Parkerville where the fire was sparked by a tree branch falling […]

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