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Bushfires destroy homes and leave firefighters on alert in WA


A grandmother is homeless and a community is coming to grips with the devastation from a bushfire that ripped through Perth’s hills on Monday.

As night fell the inferno was still burning in Wooroloo. Police believe it was deliberately lit.

A 77-year-old’s century-old home was destroyed in minutes and six other structures were also charred.

A 77-year-old's century-old home was destroyed in minutes, razed by a raging bushfire.
A 77-year-old’s century-old home was destroyed in minutes, razed by a raging bushfire. (9News)

Firefighters battled intense heat as the temperature soared past 40C.

Premier Mark McGowan earlier described one of the blazes as “unforgiving”.

“I want to acknowledge the firefighters and other workers who are sacrificing team time with their families to battle the bushfire emergency,” Mr McGowan said.

“The conditions have been unforgiving, strong winds mixed with sweltering conditions.

“People have been risking their lives to save properties and animals that belong to complete strangers.”

People were forced to flee as flames threatened homes.

The blaze seared through 165 hectares at a speed unmatched by more than 200 firefighters.

Six other structures were also charred overnight, as firefighters battled intense heat as the temperature soared past 40 degrees.
Six other structures were also charred overnight, as firefighters battled intense heat as the temperature soared past 40 degrees. (9News)

It was a close call for Mark and Lisa Appelt, who watched anxiously as the flames crept as close as 20 metres from their home.

“It was upon us before we knew what had happened,” Ms Appelt said.

“It was only a quarter of an hour, 20 minutes after we realised it was going to be a doozy.”

“There wasn’t too much wind about and I think that’s what pretty much saved us,” Mr Appelt said.

Firefighters battled intense heat as the temperature soared past 40 degrees.
Firefighters battled intense heat as the temperature soared past 40 degrees. (9News)

The fire was finally declared contained and under control in the early hours of the morning.

Residents who had sought shelter at an evacuation centre returned to their homes after a sleepless night not knowing what they would be returning to.

Police are also investigating whether arsonists are behind a blaze that threatened homes near Margaret River.

The inferno sparked just a fortnight after another fire destroyed tourism infrastructure and thousands of hectares of unique forest.

The blaze has ravaged more than 100 hectares of bushland in the Margaret River region.

Buildings are being lost to a bushfire burning out of control in Western Australia's north-east.
Buildings have been lost to a bushfire burning out of control in Western Australia’s north-east. (9News)

It sparked at Canebrake campsite in the conservation park at about 3pm on Monday, and with extremely dry and sweltering conditions it spread in a matter of seconds.

Twenty-five campers were forced to evacuate to a sports oval at Margaret River.

One family also fled their home.

One hundred firefighters worked through the night with air support, including two water bombers from Busselton.

The warning has now been downgraded to watch and act.

But firefighters are on high alert as the fire could flare up at any moment.

No one has been harmed and no homes destroyed.



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