Towering flames near Western Australian city of Perth have prompted evacuation of many homes as water-bombing helicopters and firefighters battle the blaze.
The wildfire began in the Whiteman Park area of the major city, which has a population of 1.5 million, at 1:11 pm local time, threatening residential buildings, according to Perth’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
DFES authorities stated that the exact cause of the major bush fire was unknown and still under investigation.
An evacuation alert was issued for homes in the Perth suburb of Swan earlier in the day but the warning was downgraded just before 9 p.m. local time.
“I would estimate there might have been about 20 properties under threat at one stage,” North Coast Metropolitan Superintendent Allan Riley told local news outlets.
DFES spokesman, Ryan Murray, insisted that the fire was still burning.
“The situation is the fire’s not contained. It’s gone over 120 hectares. The fire has settled. Crews will be working throughout the night to contain it,” Murray said.
DFES further warned about the presence of a lot of smoke in the area, with the fire still burning in Whiteman Park, spanning over two kilometers and slowly moving towards northeast.
Wildfires are quite common in Australia during the country’s usually hot and dry summer months.
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