An emergency warning has been issued in Western Australia due to a bushfire that continues to rage toward the city of Perth.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services said on Monday that at least one person died in the flames that destroyed dozens of houses and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people in the suburbs of Perth, the capital city of Western Australia State.
“It has been confirmed that 40 homes have been lost at this stage, but this number is expected to increase as damage assessments continue throughout the day,” the department said.
The out-of-control bushfire, thought to have been started by a fallen power line in the city’s wooded outskirts on Sunday, is now also threatening more houses at Parkerville, 35 kilometers west of Perth.
An emergency evacuation center in the region is full of people fleeing the bushfire.
More than a hundred firefighters, backed up by helicopters, are trying to tame the flames.
The fire came after days of sizzling heat in Perth and an unprecedented heat wave in the northern part of the region.
Wildfires are a common phenomenon in Australia between the months of December and February.
In 2009, a devastating firestorm killed 173 people and razed thousands of homes in the southeastern state of Victoria.
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