Several large forest fires ravaging in Southern Australia
Photo: (Above) by Wikipedia, showing a 2003 Eucalyptus forest fire in Portugal.
Video: (Below ) The Australian Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning in Victoria is responsible for responding to all bushfires on public land in Victoria’s parks and forests. On average every year, their crews across the state attend over 700 fires. Video published on Feb 22, 2017.
AUSTRALIA: Several major forest fires ravage in the eucalyptus forests in southern Australia. People have been forced to leave their homes and cattle have died in the flames. Fires rage in the terrain in several places, across large areas of the state of Victoria.
Over ten residential houses have been destroyed in the flames, reports ABC News. The fires started during the weekend and quickly grew beyond control.
- These are big fires. They will be even larger before we get control of them, "said Craig Lapsley, responsible for disaster relief work in the state.
Started by thunder storms
Forest fires are believed to have begun when lightning struck the woods. Heat and strong winds have made the extinguishing work extra difficult.
Several larger temporary shelters have been opened for residents who have been forced to leave their homes. Others have been told to Shelter-in-Place,since certain roads have been closed due to the risk of drivers being surrounded by fire or having difficulty driving in the dense smoke.
Those who live closest to the worst affected areas have therefore been told to stay at home, writes The Sydney Morning Herald.
A local resident who was attending a friend´s wedding on a farmhouse was one of the first to be affected by the wildfires:
"We felt the smell in the party room and within ten minutes the sky was completely red. The flames were only 100 meters away, and the winds were strong, local resident Elle Moyle says to ABC, adding that the guests took shelter in a barn before they could be evacuated by buses.
Cyclone in the north
There are no reports that anyone has been injured or missing, reports the news agency AFP.
Forest fires are common during Australia's hot and dry summers, in the flammable forests of eucalyptus trees. In January, forest fires led hundreds of people to evacuate by boat from beaches in a national park south of Sydney.
In a series of forest fires in Victoria 2009, 173 people died and over 400 were injured.
Even in the north, extreme weather is affecting or the Australians this weekend, according to AFP. In the city of Darwin, a Category 2 cyclone has pulled down trees across the streets and led to major power outage. Also in Darwin had anyone been hurt as per the latest reports on Saturday.
Published by Bjorn Ulfsson / CTIF Communications & News Group