US News Town destroyed by Australia's deadliest bushfire faces new threat

09:00  11 january  2020
09:00  11 january  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

Bushfire ravages main street of New South Wales town Cobargo

  Bushfire ravages main street of New South Wales town Cobargo Two people are dead and the main street of the Bega Valley town of Cobargo is in ruins after being hit early this morning by an out-of-control bushfire.The main street of the Bega Valley town of Cobargo has been devastated by an out-of-control bushfire which has left a father and son dead.

'Unprecedented' bushfires rage across Australia . The "catastrophic" warning is the worst threat level ever issued for New South Wales' capital Photos: In photos: Bushfires rage through Australia . People are seen wearing face masks to protect against the poor air quality in Sydney on December 5.

Australian authorities say a fourth person has died in a week of massive bushfires on the nation' s east coast. The 58-year-old man' s body was found in northern New The alleged arson had destroyed 14 homes around the town of Yeppoon, 650km (400 miles) north of Brisbane, Queensland Police said.

Residents describe the town as a 'perfect tinderbox' © Sky Residents describe the town as a 'perfect tinderbox'

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We’re committed to help support relief efforts after the devastating Australian bushfires. You can donate directly here, and read more here.

It is more than a decade since Black Saturday. In February 2009 a bushfire ripped through the area surrounding Kinglake, a town not far north of Melbourne. It killed 173 people and remains Australia's deadliest bushfire incident. But Kinglake is at risk again.

Mikey Libreri has lived in the town his entire life. He takes me through the dry bush around his house and points to the ridge.

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Fires in NSW have destroyed about 1,000 homes since the New Year and more than 150 The largest town on the island in South Australia was cut off by bushfires as the weather whipped up Since September, at least 27 people have died in Australia ' s bushfires , which have destroyed more

Camels aren't native to Australia - they were brought over by British settlers from India, Afghanistan and the Middle East in the 19th century. Estimates of numbers of camels vary but there are thought to be hundreds of thousands of them across the central parts of the country.

"The flame height about 300 metres from here was up to half a kilometre high.

Kinglake is home to Australia's deadliest bushfire incident © Sky Kinglake is home to Australia's deadliest bushfire incident "A fire of that intensity - nothing could have stopped what happened."

The fires scorched the area. But the bush has regrown, making conditions as dangerous as they have been since Black Saturday.

"We've ended with so much more fuel now," Mr Libreri says. "Because we've got standing dead timber, fallen dead timber, and then we have all the saplings coming up that are now 10 years old and big enough to be decent kindling.


a person standing on a dry grass field: Kinglake was destroyed by bushfires in 2009 © Sky Kinglake was destroyed by bushfires in 2009

"So you've really got the perfect tinderbox.

"So if it was something slow burning, yeah, we're stuffed."

The threat of the return of fires has unnerved people in Kinglake, who have worked hard over the last decade to put their town together.

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Australian officials issued fresh evacuation warnings Wednesday ahead of a forecast spike in the intensity of out-of-control bushfires that have devastated Residents of Victoria state' s fire -ravaged east were urged to leave before another heatwave raises the bushfire danger Friday, while in South

As towns and villages across Australia have been devastated in the current bushfire season, Kinglake is an example of how places recover.

a car parked on a city street: Locals have rebuilt the town over the past 10 years © Sky Locals have rebuilt the town over the past 10 years A new Country Fire Authority station sits in town - when we visit, its flag is at half mast - and conducts regular drills.

The houses that replaced burnt out properties were built to much higher standards. Mr Libreri's house slopes down to present a small front - and hopefully greater protection - against where fires are likely to come. The glass in his windows is extra thick and completely sealed.

Gallery: Powerful images capture Australia's bushfire catastrophe (Atlantic)

a man standing in front of a sunset: Nancy Allen and Brian Allen stand outside as high winds push smoke and ash from the Currowan Fire towards Nowra, New South Wales, Australia, on January 4, 2020.

In town, the petrol station was replaced. But some shops never reopened. Recovery is not necessarily a linear process.

"A lot of people who lived here in 2009 have since moved away." Mr Libreri says. "For various reasons of course. Some people just couldn't deal with it. others cut their losses in some respect. But we've had a lot of new families move into the town."

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Australia ' s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told ABC it was "too early to tell" what the full economic impact of the fires would be. Most have now left: some to their homes as the fire threat eased, others to evacuation centres in bigger towns Australia is fighting one of its worst bushfire seasons, fuelled

Almost 2,000 houses have been destroyed in Australia ' s months-long bushfire crisis, officials say, as crews prepare frantically for worsening conditions. After ferocious conditions last week, firefighters are using milder weather to boost containment lines around fires engulfing south-eastern Australia .

a large pile of trash: The fires in 2009 killed 173 people © Sky The fires in 2009 killed 173 people There is also the psychological recovery. The hardest part can come long afterwards, once the cameras have gone away and the relief operation is at an end.

Sylvia Thomas worked as a counsellor for the victims of Black Saturday, eventually moving here from Melbourne.

"When life is supposed to go back to normal, and nobody's taking notice any more - yes, absolutely [that's difficult].

"A lot of marriages broke down, there were suicides, and probably in that aftermath period more than anything."

The memory of Black Saturday hangs over Kinglake. Now there is a the new, grim fear that memory might become reality once more.

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment against the climate crisis. We’re supporting those on the front line tackling the Australian bushfire crisis. Find out more about our campaign here.

Australia fires map: latest updates on where the bush fires are today, as blazes continue in Victoria and NSW .
Climate scientists have warned that Australia's fires are a harbinger of what was to come for the rest of the world as the planet warmed due to human activity."Temperature conditions in Australia are extreme at the moment but they are what we expect to happen on average in a world of three degrees of global warming," said Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts Research at Britain's Met Office Hadley Centre."It brings it home to you what climate change means."Mr Morrison welcomed the U.S.

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