Australians flee western wildfires

Residents forced to leave at least 40 homes due to "devastating fire" outside Perth.

    Fallen electricity cables aided by high temperatures and strong winds may have started the fires [AFP]

    Officials have already given "catastrophic" warning signals for fires in three states this summer and are preparing for an arduous bushfire season.

    The "catastrophic" warning signal was developed after so-called Black Saturday in February 2009, when 173 people were killied in wildfires and thousands of homes were destroyed in Victoria state.

    Typically bushfires are a threat from October to March, when there are high temperatures and low humidity levels.

    Lightning strikes often start fires in the dry environment.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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