Left Menu
Development News Edition

'Mega fire' forms north of Sydney

'Mega fire' forms north of Sydney
Representative image

Several Australian bushfires have combined to form a "mega-fire" that is burning out of control across a swathe of land north of Sydney, authorities said Friday, warning they cannot contain the blaze. New South Wales Rural Fire Service deputy commissioner, Rob Rogers said: "there are probably more than eight fires in all" that have merged to form what has been dubbed a "mega-fire" in an area of national park forest.

The blaze was burning across 300,000 hectares -- an area roughly 60 kilometers (37 miles) across -- within an hour's drive of Australia's largest city, which was again subsumed in a soup of toxic smoke. "There is just fire that whole way," said Rogers, who added that firefighters could do little more than get any residents out, protect property and hope for an end to fire-friendly dry and windy conditions.

We "cannot stop these fires, they will just keep burning until conditions ease, and then we'll try to do what we can to contain them," he told public broadcaster ABC. "The best thing we can do is try to protect property and people as much as we can."

Prolonged drought has left much of eastern Australia tinder-dry and spot fires have raged every day for the past three months. Bushfires are common in Australia but scientists say this year's season has come earlier and with more intensity due to a prolonged drought and climatic conditions fuelled by global warming.

Dramatic footage of firefighters running from a wall of fire ripping through the tree canopy above them was captured overnight in Orangeville, less than 100 kilometers west of Sydney. The local fire and rescue team that shot the images said no one was injured and the vehicles surrounded by the swirling embers also survived the blaze.

"The video was put up to demonstrate why you need to listen to the fire advisory system," the team from Ingleburn fire station said on Facebook. "If your property is not prepared for the bushfire season and your (sic) not sure you are able or capable of defending your property if a fire approaches you to need to leave straight away," they warned.

At a wildlife park in the area, 300 animals were evacuated. Walkabout Wildlife Park said it had shipped out lizards, dingoes, peacocks, and marsupials, as firefighters battled more than 100 fires up and down the eastern seaboard.

"This fire has been doing some crazy things, so we have to be prepared," general manager Tassin Barnard told AFP. New South Wales rural fire chief Shane Fitzsimmons said some US and Canadian firefighters had arrived to help out.

The specialists are expected to supervise waterbombing planes and heavy equipment used in creating fire containment lines. "We are not only appreciative of their presence here today, but of their sacrifice," said Fitzsimmons -- who has become a fixture on Australian television screens for weeks, updating the public on blazes in towns, national parks, and backwaters.

"They are volunteering to sacrifice time from loved ones, from families, to give up that special time of the year around Christmas and New Year to come down here and lend us a hand," he said. More than 600 homes have been destroyed and six people have died since the crisis began in September.

That is many fewer than Australia's deadliest recent fire season in 2009 when almost 200 people died, but 2019's toll so far belies the scale of devastation. An estimated two million hectares have burned -- the size of some small countries -- across a region spanning hundreds of kilometers (miles).

The fires have taken a toll in Sydney and other major cities, which have been blanketed in toxic smoke for weeks and occasionally sprinkled with snow-like embers. Fitzsimmons said he could not "overstate the effect that this profound drought is having" as he warned of a long, painful summer ahead.

"There is an absolute lack of moisture in the soil, a lack of moisture in the vegetation... you are seeing fires started very easily and they are spreading extremely quickly, and they are burning ridiculously intensely."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Beware! Maximum cyber criminals eye your personal data

A report of the World Economic Forum revealed that cyber security is increasingly becoming an issue of public security as the majority of cyber criminals are increasingly targetting individual internet users. This requires preventive measur...

WEF 2020: Trump seems politically correct in pulling out from Paris Agreement

If the survey of the World Economic Forum WEF is believed, Trump seems to enjoy the confidence of his people in flaying climate intuitions and climate activists. His preference for economic development over environmental protection not only...

From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...


Latest News

Maldives, Lithuania extend greetings to India on Republic Day

The Foreign Ministers of the Maldives and Lithuania on Sunday congratulated India on the occasion of 71th Republic Day. Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid took to Twitter to extend greetings on the occasion, saying may the special fr...

Sri Lankan PM wishes India on 71st Republic Day

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday wished his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and people of India on the occasion of Republic Day. Earlier in the day, Rajapaksa, along with his wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa, participated in a...

Japan to evacuate any Japanese in Wuhan who wish to return - Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday the government was working with Chinese authorities to arrange a charter flight for any Japanese nationals who wish to return from Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak is believed to have o...

'Recognition for women's hockey in India': Rani Rampal on Padma Shri award

Hockey India on Sunday congratulated Indian Womens team captain Rani Rampal for being shortlisted for the prestigious Padma Shri award. Rampal is one among the six recipients from the category of sports to be conferred with Padma Shri, the ...

Give Feedback