What is the Hebrew word for bush fire?
Bushfire: Australia expects the worst
The firefighters in Southeast Australia look at the weather on Wednesday with great concern: After the drizzle of the night, temperatures rose to more than 30 degrees as predicted during the day and the wind picked up violently. This increases the risk that smoldering ashes will be carried for kilometers and new fires will start. "It can hardly get worse," said the chief of the rural fire department, Shane Fitzsimmons.
At Newcastle 160 kilometers north of Sydney, a new fire ignited and quickly got out of control. According to the fire department, a school was evacuated. The northbound M1 motorway had to be closed.
The entire region of the Blue Mountains around 70 kilometers west of Sydney has been closed to tourists. "The risks we are exposed to here should not be underestimated," said the head of the Lithgow and Oberon Region Tourist Board, Randall Walker. Residents in endangered towns fled on the advice of the fire brigade. "Those who are not well prepared still have the chance to leave the region today," tweeted the rural fire brigade RFS.
60 different fires
The most dangerous is the situation in the Blue Mountains, where around 120,000 hectares of forest and bush have already burned down. The flames devoured more than 200 houses and damaged many more. "The fires that worry us the most had some rain overnight, they are still calm," a fire department spokesman told reporters. In other places, however, the flames flared up again.
The emergency services in the most populous state of New South Wales around Sydney are fighting 60 different fires, 19 fires are out of control. The fire brigade is deployed with 1,500 men and has reinforcements from all over Australia. New Zealand also offered emergency services.
Bushfires rage regularly in Australia during the summer months from December to February. This year the fires started unusually early - also because there was little rain recently. In 2009 bush fires in the state of Victoria killed 173 people.
re / se (dpa, rtr)
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