One-week countdown starts to dig mass graves for animal carcasses to avoid biosecurity emergency
Australia's Defence Force will dig mass graves for the country's burned livestock as the Agriculture Minister starts the clock to avoid a biosecurity emergency.Hundreds of thousands of animals have perished in the blazes according to estimates from the National Farmers Federation, and more have abandoned paddocks that have had fences burned.
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Police are investigating a suspicious fire at a religious building in the Adelaide suburb of North Brighton, as well as at a unit in the city's north.
A house also burnt down in a fire started by a barbecue at Coromandel Valley.
Police say the fire at the Baha'i Centre on Brighton Road in North Brighton was deliberately lit in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
They say a passing motorist spotted the fire at the front of the building about 2:20am.
Man thought missing in fires gives police wonderful surprise
As NSW police officers touched down in a Westpac chopper and made their way sombrely through the charred fields of a property, near Bega on the south coast, things weren't looking good for owner Colin. The 70-year-old had been reported missing after staying to defend his cattle and home in Lower Towanba from the fire.Fearing for his welfare, local police - including a police chaplain - were flown in to try to find Colin yesterday afternoon.© NSW Police Unsure of what they will find, the police officers make their way towards the homestead, on Colin's property.
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She pulled over and woke the resident sleeping at the rear of the premises before attempting to extinguish the fire with a garden hose.
Metropolitan Fire Service crews attended and extinguished the fire.
Damage worth $15,000 was contained to the front door and wall.
Senior Constable Mick Abbott said crime scene investigators attended and examined the scene and determined the fire was "deliberately lit and suspicious".
"We're just after anyone who may have been in that vicinity … just prior to 2:20 this morning on Brighton Road who saw any suspicious activity to call Crime Stoppers," he said.
Unit fire also deliberately lit
Police say a fire at an Elizabeth East unit overnight was also deliberately lit.
Police and fire crews were called to Fletcher Road, Elizabeth East, about 12:45am with reports of a fire at the rear of the property.
The truth about Australia's fires — arsonists aren't responsible for many this season
Australia's massive blazes have sparked big headlines about arsonists, but they're responsible for about 1 per cent of the total land burned in NSW — and it's a similar story in other states. NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Inspector Ben Shepherd said earlier this week lightning was predominantly responsible for the bushfire crisis."I can confidently say the majority of the larger fires that we have been dealing with have been a result of fires coming out of remote areas as a result of dry lightning storms," he said.In Victoria, where about 1.2 million hectares has burned, only 385 hectares — or 0.
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The occupants safely evacuated the home before emergency services arrived.
The fire damaged the external rear wall of the premises.
A separate fire at a house on Annette Way, Coromandel Valley on Tuesday night was caused by a barbecue being left on, Senior Constable Abbott said.
Nearly 40 firefighters battled the blaze which engulfed the two-storey property, causing $650,000 worth of damage.
Firefighters also contained a blaze at a wrecking yard on Main North Road at Salisbury East on Wednesday morning.
The fire was sparked in a shed about 8:30am.
Two people were initially reported as missing but were found to have evacuated.
The fire was contained to the shed and a small grassed area nearby.
Shooting at Andrews Farm home
Also overnight, police say someone kicked in the front door of a house at Andrews Farm in Adelaide's north last night before gunshots were fired at the home.
It happened just before midnight in Eton Drive.
Five shots were fired at the house, penetrating roller shutters and damaging windows and internal walls.
Two people inside the home at the time were not injured.
"Police don't believe it was a random incident," Senior Constable Abbott said.
"We're obviously investigating the cause but certainly a very worrying incident for those people involved."
Officers and gun-detection dogs searched the area but the suspects could not be found.
Flood warning as deluge of rain hits Queensland and NSW .
Heavy rainfall will continue to provide relief to parts of drought-stricken New South Wales today after a long period of hot, dry weather and high bushfire risk. Central NSW and the state's northeast are expected to cop a soaking today with the potential for heavy rainfall on the north coast and parts of the Central Coast, Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Zach Porter told AAP.Heavy rain caused flash flooding in parts of the state yesterday with the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast forced to close for the day as a result of the huge deluge.