11 Jan 2011

Big bushfire south of Perth

4:56 pm on 11 January 2011

In Western Australia, authorities say a fire south of Perth has been contained but it is not yet safe for evacuated residents to return to their homes.

Fencing and several sheds have been destroyed and power lines are down.

Homes, sheds and cars have been destroyed and livestock have been killed in the blaze since it started, south of Mandurah, on Monday afternoon. It has burned more than 2000ha of land.

Hundreds of residents spent the night with family and friends or in evacuation centres set up in the area.

More than 150 firefighters have managed to secure containment lines around the fire but strong wind gusts of up to 50km/h are hampering efforts to contain it.

The Fire and Emergency Services Authority says the fire is still burning across 1500ha.

The ABC reports seven ignition points have been discovered and the fire is being treated as arson.