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Friday, October 18, 2013

Bushfires rage Sydney ~ NSW .. !!

Down under there is thunder is what we usually hear ~ but now it is rage !!

BBC and other reports highlight that there has been wildfires in Australia which has razed homes in New South Wales. Australian fire fighters are battling a series of major wildfires in New South Wales, with fears that hundreds of homes have been destroyed. The blazes are continuing to burn on the outskirts of Sydney, despite the easing of temperatures and winds. One man is reported to have died while trying to protect his home. Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited Winmalee in the Blue Mountains, one of the areas worst-hit by the fires, around 70km (45 miles) west of Sydney.

The phenomenon of ‘Bush fire’ is not so well heard of here in India  but it commonly occurs in Australia. A bushfire is a fire that burns in grass, bush or woodland and can threaten life, property and the environment. A bushfire is a wildfire that happens in the Australian bush. Bush is the word for scrub, woodland or grassland of Australia and New Zealand. In south east and south west of Australia, bushfires are most common in the summer and early autumn. In the north of Australia, bushfires usually happen during winter which is the dry season. Many Australian plants burn easily. Eucalyptus trees have a high oil content which makes them burn. Bushfires apart from causing damage and sometimes loss of human lives, also kills wildlife including rare koalas. 

Though we don’t to get to hear its occurrence, the Standard Fire and Special Policy issued in India covers ‘bush fire’ too …

Correspondents say bushfires are common in Australia but they have come earlier than normal this year, sparking concerns of further problems to come. Deputy New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said the fire situation was the worst he had seen in more than a decade and the threat was unlikely to ease for some time. "We've got thousands of kilometres of fire front that we are faced with trying to deal with," he told local media.

For families living around the small community of Springwood in the Blue Mountains, many have had their lives turned upside down. Australians are well used to the threat of bush fires, but nothing can prepare you for the moment when you return home to find your house and everything inside utterly gutted by fire. "It's devastating but we're all here and that's the main thing," Chris Muller told me, as her daughter picked through the smouldering rubble of her mother's home.

BBC reports that several fires are still burning around Springwood. Relays of helicopters whirr through the smoky haze, dumping water to try and douse the flames. A drop in the temperature today has given fire fighters a window to try and get on top of the situation before the weekend, when the mercury is expected to rise again. It's only spring here. The fear is of a long and difficult summer fire season.

It is reported that hundreds of residents spent Thursday night in evacuation centres, with many returning home to find their houses razed. Fire fighters described blazes as tall as 20m to 30m (100ft). Around 2,000 fire fighters across the state worked to try and contain the fires but many are still burning out of control, says the BBC's Jon Donnison in Sydney.

Mr Abbott, in Winmalee, said of those helping to battle the fires: "These are ordinary people who, on an extraordinary day, come together to support their community and to protect their fellow Australians." At least three fire fighters have been reported injured. Officials were still trying to determine the number of homes affected by the fire, with reports estimating the loss of as many as 200 homes. The fires have been caused by unseasonably hot temperatures and strong winds. While these have now died down, more hot weather is forecast next week.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, in an interview onbroadcaster 7 News, called the fires "some of the worst we have experienced around Sydney in living memory".  The Blue Mountains, Lithgow and the Southern Highlands today remained under attack from blazes which have torn though around 91,000 hectares throughout the state. Eighty-one properties have been confirmed destroyed in the Blue Mountains alone, fire authorities said tonight, with 37 damaged.

Earlier there were devastating bush fires – described as 2013 Tasmanian bushfires – it was a series of bushfires in south-eastern Tasmania in starting in November/December of 2012, with major fires in early January 2013, right through until late April 2013. fires extending up almost 6 months is unprecedented in the recorded history of Tasmania.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
18th Oct 2013.

News source : BBC and – photo courtesy : telegraph.  

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