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Wildfire in Western Australia wildfire razes 40 homes, one man dead

Published on Jan 13, 2014 10:07 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - A fast-moving wildfire destroyed at least 40 homes in Western Australia's Perth, officials said on Monday, with one man dying as he prepared for the approaching inferno.

The blaze, thought to have been started by a fallen power line in the city's wooded outskirts on Sunday, was fanned by hot, strong gusts that saw 20-metre (66-foot) flames tear through residential streets.

"It has been confirmed that 40 homes have been lost at this stage, but this number is expected to increase as damage assessments continue throughout the day," Western Australia state's fire and emergency services department said.

Media reports put the number at 44-40 in Stoneville and four in Parkerville - though that could not be confirmed by officials.

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