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Australia braces as authorities warn new fires could threaten high population areas

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Australia braces as authorities warn new fires could threaten high population areas

By Colin Packham

 

2019-12-10T001020Z_1_LYNXMPEFB9005_RTROPTP_4_AUSTRALIA-BUSHFIRES.JPG

The Sydney Opera House can be seen as smoke haze from bushfires in New South Wales blankets the CBD in Sydney, Australia, December 10, 2019. AAP Image/Joel Carrett/via REUTERS

 

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Firefighters across Australia's east coast were bracing for a fresh wave of fires as temperatures across the country's most populous state were expected to soar.

 

More than 100 fires are ablaze in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria states, many of which have been burning for several weeks - including a single blaze that stretches more than 60 km (37 miles) in a national park north of Sydney.

 

Conditions were set to worsen on Tuesday as temperatures top 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and winds are expected to start picking up, stoking fears that fires could spread to more populated areas.

 

"There are some that are much closer and with greater potential to impact on more densely populated or highly populated areas," said NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

 

Wildfires have killed at least four people, destroyed more than 680 homes and burned more than 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) of bushland across eastern Australia since the start of November.

 

Bushfires are common in Australia's hot, dry summers, but the ferocity and early arrival of the fires in the southern spring is unprecedented. Experts have said climate change has left bushland tinder-dry.

 

Authorities have warned the blaze is unlikely to be extinguished until meaningful rain arrives - which is not expected for at least three months - and forecasts indicate the fire could be pushed towards larger population areas.

 

The wildfires have blanketed Sydney - home to more than 5 million people - in smoke and ash for more than two weeks, turning the daytime sky orange, obscuring visibility and prompting commuters to wear breathing masks.

 

Sydney on Tuesday again woke to another thick blanket of smoke, with air quality rated as "very poor" at 1800 GMT, prompting warnings to avoid unnecessary exposure.

 

"Remain inside with the windows and doors closed, preferably in an air-conditioned building," the NSW state government's health department said.

 

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-12-10

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So sad to see the climate alarmists trying to score points from tragedy yet again.  One gets the feeling they almost pray for disasters.

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7 hours ago, AussieBob18 said:

It is a common thing in Australia - drought and bushfires - heavy rains and floods - about every 5-7 years it is one then the other.  But I will say that the situation is always made worse by the lack of 'burn back' that is conducted in the Govt owned and run Nature Reserves - where most of the fires actually start.  This year for the first time I have seen Aboriginal Elders speaking out and stating that there needs to be a lot more burn back before the drought starts. They stated that this is what they did for many thousands of years - and they did not have the same level of bushfires we always experience.  Hopefully, the greenies will not suppress that and the Govts of the Country will do something about it. 

 

But unlike in say USA, where the People through the Courts can make things happen, here in Aust the Govts and their Agencies are not subject to penalty or punishment.  Example is the fires that ravaged Canberra in 2003 (I was there then) - in less than 10 hours fires from Nature Reserves swept into Canberra and four people died, over 490 were injured, and 470 homes were destroyed or severely damaged - almost 70% of the city reserves and parklands were destroyed.  There were fires in the NSW and ACT Reserves for about a week before the catastrophy - but they were not adequately dealt with.  The Nature Reserves were a disatser waiting to happen, and many fire experts for years had demanded the Parks and Reserves Agency burn back (being rabid greenies they did not).  So after the event the ACT Coroner held an enquiry into the deaths and all associated issues.  What did the Greenies/Govt do?  (ACT was a coalistion of alt-left Union Party and The Greens).  They shut it down in legal argument for almost 2 years - mainly because the Coroner had said she was going to 'take some heads'.  The Supreme Court ruled the Coroner was not biased and could continue - but they limited her scope of enquiry to immediately before the fires and the events that took place on that fateful day.  Her report was scathing about incompetence and lack of action - but she was not allowed to delve into the years of failing to back burn which actually caused the problems.  So what happenned to her report?  Buried !!  Any Govt members or employees charged or sued? No !!   Being incompetent and ignoring expert advice is not a reason to be charged in Australia - it has to be deliberate with intent.  

 

Sorry - one person I knew vagualy through work died, several I knew very well almost died (were very very lucky), and many people I knew lost their houses and irreplaceble family items. That was the hard thing for the many who survived without any family or friends being killed or severely injured - houses, furniture, clothes, cars etc etc can all be replaced - but losing items like all the children's photos and all the family keepsakes and heirlooms, were what hurt the most. 

 

 

Good report. There are many others as well. I knew one of the people that died in the NSW fires.

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