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Evaporative air conditioning in australia spread fire quickly

The investigators from the Fire and Emergency Services Authority have spent the entire morning in Roleystone and Kelmscott trying to keep control and track the unpredictable behaviour of the fire that burned 72 homes.

It is believed the blaze originated from a spark which came from an angle grinder on Sunday and spread quickly, this was fanned by a strong easterly wind.

FESA’s Craig Hynes says many of the homes that were destroyed were not in the line of the fire and it is now know that they burned down due to the type of evaporative air conditioning units on top of the homes.

“The dry filters are really a wick for properties; embers get into them and they burn quickly through the roofs,” he said.

Mr Hynes says FESA will be working with the evaporative air conditioning industry to improve safety.

He has also warned that weather conditions this weekend will be similar to last weekend’s and it is highly likely a total fire ban will be enforced.

The Premier Colin Barnett says the State Government will examine local by laws in order to ensure people have a greater clearance between their homes and surrounding bushland.

“The two issues that we will look at is, first, prescribed burning in the area and local controls and by laws that have allowed people to have trees close to their residences which made it impossible for the emergency services to save those houses,” he said.

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