Feb 2, 2021 - World

Bushfire burns Perth Hills homes while Australian city is on lockdown

 A local resident takes a panoramic image of the bush fire and Perth CBD on her phone from Kings Park on February 02, 2021 in Perth, Australia.

A local resident takes a picture of the bushfire and Perth city center on her phone on Tuesday. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

A massive uncontained bushfire has destroyed at least 30 homes in the Perth Hills, Western Australia, officials told the Australian Broadcasting corporation Tuesday.

Why it matters: Per state Premier Mark McGowan, "Right now WA is battling two different kinds of emergencies — a dangerous fire emergency and a COVID-19 lockdown emergency." He said there are "threats to lives and homes" from the wildfire.

Details: Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, who is the WA state emergency coordinator, told a briefing it's OK for those in fire-affected areas to go to a family member's house. That's despite COVID-19 restrictions requiring people to stay home unless there's an essential reason like grocery shopping.

  • "If you're in that fire zone, don't hesitate, we don't want people to be so cautious that they or their loved ones are put under threat," he said.
  • Since the wildfire broke out on Perth's fringes overnight, the blaze has so far razed some 17,000 acres amid hot, gusty conditions, fire officials said.

For the record: State capital Perth and other parts of WA entered a five-day lockdown after a security guard contracted COVID-19 from a newly returned traveler in managed hotel quarantine.

  • The guard's case remains the only one in the community in the state.
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