Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Wooroloo Fire Destroys Homes in Australia, Forces Locked-Down Residents to Evacuate

Wooroloo Fire Destroys Homes in Australia, Forces Locked-Down Residents to Evacuate
Fire crews work to bring the Wooroloo bushfire under control on Feb. 2, 2021 in Perth, Australia. Paul Kane / Getty Images

The Wooroloo fire, raging out of control outside Perth, Western Australia, has destroyed at least 71 homes and was expected to continue to grow.

Authorities warn the fire, already fueled by hot and unusually dry conditions, is being made dangerously erratic by winds gusting at over 45 mph and blowing embers as much as three miles ahead of the firefront.

Smoke from the blaze turned skies over the city on Australia's western coast a hazy orange, raining ash on suburban homes, and dangerously degraded air quality. Climate change makes wildfires more extreme as increased temperatures dry out brush and soil, exacerbating fire conditions. Officials emphasized that evacuation orders caused by the fire overrode the snap lockdown triggered by a COVID-19 infection earlier in the week.

As reported by The New York Times:

The fire, reminiscent of the infernos that devoured Australia's southeast coast more than a year ago, is another reminder that as climate change spurs more frequent and intense natural disasters, Australia and other countries are likely to find themselves dealing with intersecting catastrophes.

For a deeper dive:

BBC, Sydney Morning Herald, 9News, CNN, The New York Times, AP, The Independent. Photos: Al Jazeera; Climate Signals background: Wildfires

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

Air France airplanes parked at the Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport on March 24, 2020. SAMSON / AFP via Getty Images

France moved one step closer this weekend to banning short-haul flights in an attempt to fight the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A woman looks at a dead gray whale on the beach in the SF Bay area on May 23, 2019; a new spate of gray whales have been turning up dead near San Francisco. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Four gray whales have washed up dead near San Francisco within nine days, and at least one cause of death has been attributed to a ship strike.

Read More Show Less
A small tourist town has borne the brunt of a cyclone which swept across the West Australian coast. ABC News (Australia) / YouTube

Tropical Cyclone Seroja slammed into the Western Australian town of Kalbarri Sunday as a Category 3 storm before grinding a more-than 600-mile path across the country's Southwest.

Read More Show Less
A general view shows the remains of a dam along a river in Tapovan, India, on February 10, 2021, following a flash flood caused by a glacier break on February 7. Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Images

By Rishika Pardikar

Search operations are still underway to find those declared missing following the Uttarakhand disaster on 7 February 2021.

Read More Show Less
Indigenous youth, organizers with the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipeline fights and climate activists march to the White House to protest against pipeline projects on April 1, 2021. Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden's refusal to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.

Read More Show Less