Three large aerial water tankers filled with retardant were what stood between Perth’s out-of-control inferno and disaster as 27 fire crews inside Shady Hills View estate, north-east along the city’s fringe, successfully fought through the night to save its houses.

The monstrous fire front which grew up to a perimeter of 126 kilometers on Thursday had ravaged the hilly terrain east of the fringe suburb of Bullsbrook and broke free of containment lines at three points late on Wednesday, including south of the fire head near Brigadoon estates, Avon Ridge and Joshua Mews.

A change in wind direction gusted through the landscape’s valleys, fuelling the fire at great speeds uphill towards homes.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said much of the area hadn’t been accessible to bulldozers and ground crews so the only containment lines were provided by the tankers, which dropped upwards of 200 kilolitres of retardant.

Read more on this story at the Sydney Morning Herald