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Hundreds of firefighters continue to battle Western Australia's bushfire

11-24-2011 14:01 BJT

SYDNEY, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- About 400 hundreds firefighters are still battling to contain a bushfire that destroyed at least 19 properties in the Margaret River region of Western Australia (WA), authorities said on Thursday.

WA's Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Incident Controller Roger Armstrong told reporters that 19 houses had been confirmed burnt or damaged, with up to 11 of those seriously damaged.

The DEC said two large water bombing helicopters and four fixed- wing aircraft were assisting firefighters on Thursday.

The DEC Incident Controller said Thursday's priorities for fighters were to contain the fire from spreading further.

He said the fire was 80 percent controlled with only a section north of the Margaret River still out of control.

Hundreds of residents and holidaymakers were forced to evacuate the area after a prescribed burn by the DEC in the Leeuwin- Naturaliste National Park ran out of control on Wednesday.

Residents in the region were warned that the fire could still pose a danger to lives and properties as the wind changed direction.

The fire has cut power to many affected areas.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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