Wildfires Continue to Rage Across Australia

“We are not out the woods by any means,”

 

In this image made from video, huge plumes of smoke billow from wildfires in forest in Wollemi, New South Wales state, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. More than 50 homes were damaged or destroyed and 13 firefighters were injured overnight by catastrophic wildfires across Australia’s most populous state before the emergency subsided on Wednesday, officials said. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

 

By ROD McGUIRK Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Scores of wildfires continued to rage across vast tracts of Australia’s drought-stricken east coast on Wednesday, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes, some for the second time in a week.

See also  FEMA Wrongly Releases Disaster Victim Personal Data to Contractor

The most intense fires were concentrated in the northeastern states of New South Wales and Queensland, although a fire emergency warning had also been issued for a blaze threatening the west coast city of Geraldton.

New South Wales had lost more than 200 homes since Friday, while 14 homes had been destroyed in southeast Queensland.

This image made from video shows burnt property in Yeppoon, Queensland state, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. Wildfires destroyed nine homes on Monday in Queensland state, where air quality plummeted in Brisbane, the state capital, and surrounding cities to the lowest possible rating of “very poor.”(Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

Some communities have been evacuated repeatedly as the fire danger recedes, then returns with flames fanned by strong wind changes.

See also  Photos: Wildfires Ravage Chile

Tony Wellington, mayor of the Queensland town of Noosa North Shore, said residents there were being evacuated for the second time in a week.

“It’s bad enough being evacuated once let alone multiple times,” Wellington told Australian Broadcasting Corp. “It’s terribly distressing, always, to be evacuated.”

This image made from video shows destroyed cars after wildfires in Yeppoon, Queensland state, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. In Queensland, more than 70 wildfires were burning across the state.(Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

A severe fire danger warning was in place for much southern Queensland, with soaring temperatures and thunderstorms expected.

“We’ve got another tough day today and there is an extended forecast that we are not out the woods by any means,” said Michael Wassing of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commission.

See also  Cool, Damp Weather Helps U.S. Wildfire Outlook

The Insurance Council of Australia, an industry body, said insurers had received 450 fire damage claims in the disaster areas.

In this image made from video, forest trees are on fire in Hillville, New South Wales state, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. More than 50 homes were damaged or destroyed and 13 firefighters were injured overnight by catastrophic wildfires across Australia’s most populous state before the emergency subsided on Wednesday, officials said. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

In New South Wales, more than 50 homes were damaged or destroyed and 13 firefighters were injured overnight by catastrophic wildfires across that subsided on Wednesday.

At one point on Tuesday, 16 fires raged out of control at emergency level simultaneously across New South Wales, a near record number.

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warned that rain that would quench the fire danger on the east coast is not forecast for months.

State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was relieved that the destruction on Tuesday had not been worse. A weeklong state of emergency for New South Wales was declared on Monday because of the fire danger, with Tuesday forecast to be the most dangerous day.

“I have to confess to being hugely relieved this morning that yesterday our amazing volunteers and emergency service personnel withstood the catastrophic conditions and did manage to save life and property,” Berejiklian said.

Fitzsimmons said none of the injured firefighters had been seriously hurt.

In this image made from video, huge plumes of smoke billow from wildfires in forest in Wollemi, New South Wales state, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. More than 50 homes were damaged or destroyed and 13 firefighters were injured overnight by catastrophic wildfires across Australia’s most populous state before the emergency subsided on Wednesday, officials said. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Topics

“We are not out the woods by any means,”     By ROD McGUIRK Associated Press CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Scores of wildfires continued to rage across vast tracts of Australia’s drought-stricken east coast on Wednesday, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes, some for the second time in a week. The most intense […]

Get The Wildland Firefighter Newsletter

Related Articles

Fire Near Neah Bay (WA) Prompts Evacuations, School Closures

Fire Near Neah Bay (WA) Prompts Evacuations, School Closures

NEAH BAY, Wash. (AP) — A wildfire at the far northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula prompted more than 100 people to evacuate neighborhoods in Neah Bay on Thursday, and nearby schools have closed. The fire is burning on the remote Makah Indian reservation near...

Wildfire Burns Part of Southern OH Wayne National Forest

Wildfire Burns Part of Southern OH Wayne National Forest

PEDRO, Ohio (AP) — Officials say a 1,300-acre wildfire in Wayne National Forest in far southern Ohio began with multiple small wildfires earlier this week. A statement Thursday from Wayne National Forest said firefighters were working to contain the blaze and urged...