Rooftop Evaporative Coolers a Fire Risk?

Hot Weather Pic

In the extreme summer heat last week, footage of a burning house in Carrum Downs VIC, raises some questions.
The rooftop cooler was pictured with flames devouring the evaporative pads and subsequent footage showed the black smoke billowing from the opening like a chimney drawing the fire upwards.

Is this a real risk for bushfires where embers could ignite the pads, or for an electrical fires in the roof cavity accelerated by the upward draw of air through the roof opening?
Significant care in design needs to be provided by consultants and contractors when advising customers on the best cooling options.

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11 Jan 2018
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