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Battle to contain Western Australia bush fires

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Battle to contain Western Australia bush fires

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Bush fires in Western Australia have destroyed at least 20 homes and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people.

More than 100 firefighters have been brought in, while planes have been used to drop water on the afflicted areas.

The fires have spread over 1800 hectares, threatening farms, forests and vineyards in the Margaret River wine region.

It began as an authorised burn in a national park about 280 kilometres south of Perth. But as the area was hit by high winds the fire quickly spread and the situation grew out of control.

Schools and roads have been closed. Residents were moved to emergency shelters and even a local beach.

Authorities are concerned that strong winds and temperatures of over 30-degrees Celsius could fan more fires.

In February a bush fire in the Perth suburbs destroyed more than 70 houses. A parliamentary report suggests many recommendations made in the aftermath have not yet been implemented, leaving the region poorly prepared for the bush fire season.