Wildfires destroy 40 homes and 4,000 acres

Firefighters in Western Australia have been battling wildfires which have razed 4,000 acres around Perth and destroyed at least 40 homes, as the east coast recovers from a cyclone and record flooding.

The two blazes have razed forested land to the north and southeast of Perth, Fire and Emergency Services Authority spokesman Alan Gale said. Several people were treated for smoke inhalation.

One fire in Swan Valley has largely been brought under control, but another in the communities of Roleystone and Kelmscott remained unpredictable in pockets, according to the authority.

In Roleystone and Kelmscott, at least 41 houses were destroyed and another 19 damaged, despite water-bombing by 200 firefighters, the authority's chief operations officer, Craig Hynes, told reporters. He said the tally could rise as a survey of the scorched area continued.

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