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40 homes destroyed in Western Australia bushfires

Melbourne, Wed, 30 Dec 2009 ANI

Melbourne, Dec 30 (ANI): At least 40 homes were destroyed in the Toodyay area as authorities continue to assess the damage caused by bushfires to the West Australian wheat belt town located northeast of Perth.


A fire, which started on Tuesday, raged through the small community 80km from Perth, burning almost 3000 hectares of land.


Four water-bombing helicopters and hundreds of firefighters spent the night trying to control the blaze, as strong winds fanned flames which reached up to two metres high.


The fire has affected homes in Majestica Waters, Lozanda Heights, Vernon Hills, Nottingham Road, Sherwood Road, Folewood Road, Drummondi Drive, Adenanthus Road and Stirlingia Drive.


Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) spokesman Allen Gale said the extent of the damage was yet to be realised, the AAP reports.


"We can confirm that 20 homes have been lost, but early indications of people moving through the area is that the number could double. House after house has been destroyed, in a line, and there are still pockets where the fire is still burning," Gale said.


Three firefighters have received medical treatment for smoke inhalation and dehydration.


FESA said it is thought a resident from the Toodyay area is receiving treatment for burns at the Royal Perth Hospital.


Electricity and communication to the area is being restored after power poles and lines were damaged by the fire.


Residents took refuge at the local caravan park, recreation centre and at the Northam hospital and school.


The fire danger for the area remains very high, but cooler temperatures and fresh south westerly winds are expected to help the fire fighting efforts. (ANI)


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