Did You Know
Did You Know
About 95 homes have been destroyed after a bushfire ripped through a Western Australian town.
Three people are unaccounted for and one-third of the historic town of Yarloop, south of Perth, has been razed, authorities said.
Wind gusts of up to 60km/h (37 m/ph) overnight fanned the blaze, dubbed the Waroona fire, to heights of 50m.
The fire continues to threaten towns and strong winds today are expected to again make conditions difficult.
Western Australia Fire Commissioner Wayne Gregson told a press conference that the fire in Yarloop was too intense to be tackled head-on.
He said that four firefighters were injured battling the blaze and one fire truck was destroyed.
The fire has now burned through more than 50,000 hectares (500 sq km) and is threatening towns including Harvey and Preston Beach.
'Could be the end'
Local politician Murray Cowper told the BBC that the loss of property was "significant".
He said firefighters told him the town's pub, bowling club and historic timber workshops had been destroyed.
"You've got seasoned firefighters who've been around for many years saying they've never seen anything like it," Mr Cowper said.
"A big fireball came through and there was no way they were going to stop it.
"This could well be the end of the town."
Yarloop resident Alex Govanovich to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the fire was "crazy - one fireball after another".
"The wind, it was that frigging strong. It's devastating."
A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said conditions were "very tricky", with wind gusts of up to 60km/h expected again today.
Thunderstorms and sea breezes could add further unpredictability to the situation if they rapidly pushed the fire in new directions.
Thunderstorm systems could also be generated within the fire itself, the spokesman said.
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