Wooroloo bushfire At least 59 homes destroyed, six firefighters injured in WA blaze
At least 59 homes have been destroyed by the out-of-control bushfire at Wooroloo, north-east of Perth, and more are feared to have been lost.
DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm said tonight that six firefighters had been injured trying to control the blaze that stretches 80km and has already burned through 8000 hectares.
“It is terrible news for the owners of those homes, and our thoughts are with them all,” Commissioner Klemm said.
“There is a likelihood the number of homes lost will increase once work is completed.”
Mr Klemm said there had been no reports of lives lost and the main approach of fire crews is to try and keep the fire within the boundary lines.
“At the moment we are still in really difficult conditions,” he said.
“The southern flank of the fire and its proximity to the top of Brigadoon and Upper Swan are still a great concern for us.”
Mr Klemm also said the cyclone forming to the north of the state was a concern and could make firefighting efforts more difficult.
“The effects of the cyclone will make its presence felt later this week – while we may have slightly cooler temperatures, we will be dealing with stronger winds so there are some difficult times ahead,” he said.
Tonight at least, winds have eased, but there is still a lot of work ahead.
Victims grappling with impact
Mother-of-four Elaine Palfrey watched her Wooroloo home burn, just three months after the family moved into their dream rural retreat.
“When we saw that footage, we knew everything was lost,” she said.
The family was forced to flee, grabbing what they could, lacking time even to find their cat.
“It’s just so devastating,” Ms Palfrey said.
“Our home is gone — that feeling of not knowing where to live at this point is very devastating.”
Darren Stoneman was caught outside a roadblock on Toodjay Road while getting fuel this morning.
For now his car is his home, and he’s waiting to see what’s left of where he lived.
“We’re hoping that everything stays as it is and we can get in as soon as possible,” he said.
Jo Murphy’s house in Gidgegannup was somehow saved as the blaze passed over it, but she suffered her own losses.
Despite getting out with her four dogs, her chickens and pet cat couldn’t be saved.
“The scenes are just like a nuclear bomb has gone off, there’s power lines all over the roads,” she said.
“Unfortunately a number of our neighbours weren’t as lucky as we were, they’ve lost their homes, it’s just terrible.”
Perth shrouded by smoke
The DFES also issued warnings of heavy smoke across parts of metropolitan Perth, Joondalup, Rottnest Island and Fremantle.
People in these areas are warned to be careful when driving and seek medical advice if having breathing difficulties.