Australia: Raging flames claim at least two lives and 143 properties

January 11, 2016 1:00 pm

 The glow of bush fires in Waroona, Western . Photo / Supplied

At least 143 properties in Western Australia, including the 128
houses in the tiny town of Yarloop, have been destroyed by a raging
bushfire.
The blaze has killed two people and injured four
firefighters, while 60 firefighters, five paramedics and three
management support staff from New South Wales are helping local crews
battling fatigue.
A third person feared missing has been found
alive. As well as homes the flames have swallowed up sheds, caravans and
community buildings.
More than 72,600ha have been burned since the lightning-sparked fire began last week.

Several roads and recreation sites remain closed, with dairy farmers forced to dump thousands of litres of milk.
Nicole
Ferraro said her father and brothers stayed to defend their properties
and managed to save most of the herd, their homes and dairy but the rest
of the farm suffered “a blackened fate”.

“For
the short term, their main focus is the well-being of the animals,
keeping the cows milked and fed, as well as the supply of diesel which
is needed to run the generator to keep the dairy operational and the
milking herd healthy,” she wrote on Facebook.
Western Power says
thousands of properties remain without power but burned trees and debris
in danger of collapsing must be cleared before crews can rebuild the
network.

About 835 people have registered at two evacuation centres.
People wanting to help can donate money through the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund. The state government has already committed A$1 million ($1.06 million).
Doreen
Jones, from Emergency Wildlife Care Bunbury, said the centre was
beginning to receive animals that had been recovered from the fire zone,
suffering burns and smoke inhalation.

“We’ve had two ring-tailed possums, a brush-tailed possum and a joey … handed in to various people and vets.”
Jones was concerned the fires may have decimated the echidna population in bushland near Yarloop.

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