Uncontrolled forest fires threatened lives and homes in the Australian west coast town of Perth on Monday, with locals being told to take refuge in the area because of the toxic fumes.
Residents in many suburbs south of Perth have been warned to be on the alert as an estimated 150 firefighters battled a blaze that has consumed more than 230 hectares since Saturday.
The local emergency department reduced the blaze from the “emergency” level earlier, but warned that there could be “potential danger to lives and homes as fires burn in the area and conditions change”.
It is not known what caused the fire.
Dangerous and spectacular fumes from burning garbage tips are also causing concern, with locals being told to “take refuge in a safe place”.
Several roads were forced to close and motorists were told not to go to the blaze.
There are also wildfires in and around the city of Perth as well, including one that forced the relocation of a retired city on Sunday in the southeastern part of Gosnells.
About 60 people have been evacuated to safety and a rescue center has been set up in the area.
Hot and windy weather – pushing 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) – is expected to be on Perth this week.
Western Australia was spared the onslaught of wildfires that intensified in the summer heat, which devastated the two most populous provinces of New South Wales and Victoria.
Fires affected more than 24 million hectares of drought and rainforest in Australia in late 2019 and early 2020, killing more than 30 people and destroying thousands of homes.