Bushire blazes in Australia
A bushfire was burning out of control on Friday (November 14) near the Australian village of Warrimoo, located in the iconic Blue Mountains west of Sydney.
Fire authorities issued an emergency warning, urging residents to consider evacuating if they were not properly prepared to protect their property.
It came after the state of New South Wales (NSW) was hit by soaring temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
The NSW Rural Fire Service has issued warnings. A Watch and Act is in place for residents in the Warrimoo and Valley Heights area due to a bush fire burning. Winds have started to ease.
The Central West, Riverina, Far Western, North Western and Northern Slopes districts are likely to have a Severe Fire Danger Rating on Friday, with temperatures forecast to reach 45C with winds gusting up to 60 km/h in some areas.
Other areas of NSW, including Greater Sydney, the Greater Hunter and the North Coast, will likely experience temperatures up to 40C with strong winds.
NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said firefighters have been called to 20 harvest related fires in the past week, including two fires sparked by farm headers in the Mid Lachlan Valley area which destroyed 110 hectares of wheat crops.
“Our volunteers are telling me that conditions are extremely dry and that there has been a noticeable increase of crop fires ignited by headers in recent weeks,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“These fires serve as a timely reminder to farmers that they need to be especially careful and consider the conditions when using machinery.
“It only takes one spark to set off a serious fire that can quickly spread to adjoining paddocks and properties, potentially destroying valuable agricultural and other assets. I strongly urge farmers to prepare their properties, check firefighting equipment, secure fuel, ensure hay bales are ventilated and consider moving stock ahead of Friday.”
- Winds have started to ease and firefighters are working to assess how far the fire has moved during the wind change.
- If conditions allow, backburning will be undertaken overnight to seek to contain the fire. This will lead to increased smoke and fire activity in the area.
Be aware of burning embers. If the fire does impact on your home, seek immediate shelter to protect yourself from the heat of the fire.
- More than 250 firefighters continue to work to contain the fire.
Advice for Residents
If you are in the area around Greens Road in Warrimoo, and Russell Avenue, Coolabah Road and Angophora Place in Valley Heights, be aware of burning embers.
If the fire impacts on your home, seek immediate shelter to protect yourself from the heat of the fire.
The NSW Fire Servie said in a statement on their website that the blaze continued to burn into the evening, and advised residents to see shelter and protect themselves from the heat of the fire. The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is urging landholders and farm workers to exercise extreme caution in the coming days due to a significant increase in fire danger across the State.
VIDEO by Reuters