Entries in Wildfire (3)


Australia Fires Devastate Perth

A home destroyed by a bush fire is seen on February 7, 2011 in Perth, Australia. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PERTH, Australia) -- Firefighters near the western Australian city of Perth continue to battle bush fires that have ravaged the area and destroyed more than 60 homes, reports the BBC.

Hundreds of people have fled their homes as the area around the city has been declared a natural disaster zone. The flames have been exacerbated by winds in the region that are gusting up to 44 miles per hour. A Fire and Emergency Services Authority employee, however, has told affected residents that the wind is now working in favor of emergency workers.

The Australian government has pledged financial assistance to those affected as Prime Minister Julia Gillard says some have lost everything to the blaze.

Exactly one year ago, 173 people were killed in the southern state of Victoria when bush fires swept through the region. No serious injuries or fatalities have been reported in the Perth fires.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Wildfires Prove Unruly Along Australia's Western Coast

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PERTH, Australia) -- Fires raging along Australia's western coast were augmented by strong winds on Sunday, making the task of controlling them - let alone extinguishing them - nearly impossible for firefighters.

The fires burned in the suburbs of Kelmscott, Roleystone, Upper Chittering, Brigadoon and Ferndale outside the city of Perth. Multiple reports indicated that a main bridge that runs across the Brookton Highway had collapsed, which eliminated a vital route for emergency responders.

Nearly 2000 acres had been burned as of Sunday morning, and dry conditions along with strong winds gusting as high as 50 miles per hour only made it more difficult for firefighters to control the flames.

Evacuations had been ordered in certain suburbs as emergency crews used helicopters to dump water from the sky in an effort to reach fires that could not be easily reached on the ground.

Firefighters are being called from across the region to try to help battle the flames.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Israeli Officials: Deadly Blaze Contained

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- The fire that incinerated over 12,000 acres of Israel's Mount Carmel forest, left more than 40 dead, and forced thousands from their homes has been contained, Israeli officials said Sunday.

More than 30 planes and helicopters -- 20 of them from foreign countries -- took to the skies to assist the firefight.

Israeli police have arrested two brothers, aged 16 and 14, from the Druze village of Isfiya who they suspect may have started the fire.  Police allege the teens were negligent and left a fire burning that they had started near their home.  Police do not believe the case is arson.  The boys' parents told reporters their sons are innocent and being used as a scapegoat.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held his weekly cabinet meeting in the northern part of the country, near the scene of the blaze.  He thanked many in the international community for their assistance.  Netanyahu spoke by phone with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the first time in two months and thanked him for agreeing to send a number of firefighting trucks.

The Israeli prime minister is coming under harsh criticism for not adequately funding firefighters, despite prior requests and warnings. Some are calling for the resignation of the interior minister, who is officially in charge of the funding.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio