Fri, Dec 20 2002 8:49 PM AEDT

Three homes lost in blaze near Perth

Fires have destroyed three houses and burnt through over 1,200 hectares of bushland near the town of Gingin, north of Perth.

Hundreds of firefighters have been fighting the main blaze at Gingin, which has forced the evacuation of the townsite.

The blaze has been contained to the west of the town and hundreds of residents who were evacuated to safety at the Granville Park Centre have returned home.

Fire crews are now concentrating on a second fire at Mogumber, north-east of the town, which has destroyed one home.

Water bombers have been called in to try to stop the blaze.

Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson Ray Buchan says crews are expected to work through the night.

"We've got strong wind conditions and very low humidity, so the crews are going to be here for most of the night and I'd say into most of tomorrow as well."

Vic blaze

Meanwhile fire crews will work overnight in an effort to contain parts of a blaze burning in the Big Desert Wilderness Park in north-west Victoria, amid predictions of worsening conditions tomorrow.

The blaze has now burned 120,000 hectares, making it the biggest in the state in 20 years.

Mike Leonard from the Department of Sustainability and Environment says land owners are being warned of the danger amid fears the fire could again escape into farmland.

"We've got a lot of fire edge at the moment with no control lines on it," he said.

"We'll do as much as we can tonight, but we've been advised by the bureau, weather conditions up there will deteriorate from our perspective tomorow."