COOLER WEATHER BRINGS RELIEF FOR WILDLIFE CRISIS IN AUSTRALIA

Posted on

SYDNEY – Milder temperatures Sunday brought hope of a respite from wildfires that have ravaged three Australia states, claiming 24 lives and destroying almost 2,000 homes.

Saturday was a day of high tension as soaring temperatures and strong winds fanned fires in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, forcing thousands to flee and bringing flames to the suburban fringes of Sydney.

Thousands of firefighters fought to contain the blazes, but many continued to burn out of control, threatening to wipe out rural townships and causing almost incalculable damage to property and wildlife.

As dawn broke over a blackened landscape Sunday, a picture emerged of the disaster of unprecedented scale. The Rural Fire Service said 150 fires were active in the state, 64 of them uncontrolled.

Thousands fled their homes on Saturday as soaring temperatures and strong winds produced some of the most dangerous conditions seen this bushfire season.

COOLER WEATHER BRINGS RELIEF FOR WILDLIFE CRISIS IN AUSTRALIA

A 47-year-old man died trying to protect his friend’s property in rural NSW, while in Victoria six people remained unaccounted for.

“It’s not something we have experienced before,” said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. “The weather activity we’re seeing, the extent and spread of the fires, the speed at which they’re [moving], the way they are attacking communities that have never seen fire, is unprecedented.”

Sydney experienced its highest-ever temperature of 48.9 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit) on Saturday, along with winds of up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour, prompting fears a fast-moving blaze could reach the city’s outskirts.

“It was an awful day yesterday,” NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters on Sunday.

“We are getting reports that the property losses, the damage, and destruction, is likely to be numbering in the hundreds as a result of yesterday’s fire activity and fire spread.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.