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World 'Stay alert': millions of Australians brace for 'catastrophic' bushfires

01:30  12 november  2019
01:30  12 november  2019 Source:   reuters.com

'Uncharted territory' as bushfires rage across Australia's east

  'Uncharted territory' as bushfires rage across Australia's east Dozens of bushfires raged out of control across eastern Australia on Friday, blocking escape routes for residents and shuttering the main highway linking major cities on the country's Pacific coast. More than 90 blazes pockmarked the New South Wales countryside, 50 of them uncontained, tearing through tens of thousands of hectares. More than 90 blazes pockmarked the New South Wales countryside, 50 of them uncontained, tearing through tens of thousands of hectares.

Two Australian states have declared a state of emergency as bushfires bring a " catastrophic " threat to heavily populated areas of the nation's east. At least three people are dead and thousands have been displaced by three days of dangerous weather conditions in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland.

A vast area of Australia 's east coast - including Sydney - is bracing itself for one the nation's worst ever bushfire threats. More than 60 blazes were burning across the state of New South Wales (NSW) ahead of predicted " catastrophic " conditions on Tuesday. About six million people live in the region.

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Residents across a wide swath of Australia's east coast were bracing for "catastrophic" conditions on Tuesday, with searing heat and high winds expected to fan scores of already burning bushfires, threatening residential areas.

More than 60 bushfires are raging the state of New South Wales in Australia

  More than 60 bushfires are raging the state of New South Wales in Australia Fire officials are warning of "catastrophic fire danger" as firefighters battle dozens of blazes raging across the Australian state of New South Wales. © Dan Peled/EPA/Shutterstock Mandatory Credit: Photo by DAN PELED/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10470920b) A firefighter works to contain a bushfire near Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia, 10 November 2019. Three people have reportedly been killed, five are missing and 150 homes have been destroyed as more than 80 bushfires are burning uncontained around the state.

MELBOURNE: Australian firefighters raced on Sunday to contain widespread bushfires that have left three people dead, and warned of " catastrophic " fire conditions ahead, including around the country's biggest city of Sydney.

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has declared a state of emergency as bushfires rage across the state. ‘We know the weather forecast for tomorrow is at

Millions of people across two states are subject to a seven-day state of emergency that was imposed by officials on Monday, with locals in areas deemed most at risk urged to evacuate before the worst hits.

"We really need people to stay alert, stay informed, and stay safe and act in accordance with your plan and the advice that might be given out throughout the day," NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters.

a view of a city at sunset: FILE PHOTO: High-rise buildings are seen through smoke from bushfires during sunset in Sydney © Reuters/Stephen Coates FILE PHOTO: High-rise buildings are seen through smoke from bushfires during sunset in Sydney

Sydneysiders woke up to a city shrouded in smoke. Officials have rated the harbor city at "catastrophic fire danger" for Tuesday, the first time it has received that designation since new fire danger ratings were introduced in 2009.

Firefighters who saved house leave milk 'apology'

  Firefighters who saved house leave milk 'apology' They saved a New South Wales home - then apologised to the owner for taking milk from the fridge.Paul Sefky returned to his New South Wales home to find a note signed by the Urunga Rural Fire Service (RFS).

Australian firefighters raced on Sunday to contain widespread bushfires that have left three people dead, and warned of " catastrophic " fire conditions ahead

Firefighters in Australia are racing to tackle devastating bushfires that have left three people dead, with authorities warning of perilous conditions ahead Conditions on Tuesday in the greater Hunter region north of Sydney were also rated as catastrophic , the highest level of bushfire danger, while

Home to more than 5 million people, Sydney is ringed by large areas of bushland, much of which remains tinder dry following little rain across the country's east coast in recent months.

Bushfires are a common and deadly threat in Australia’s hot, dry summers, but the current severe outbreak - across several parts of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland states, as well as Sydney - weeks before the summer peak, has caught many by surprise.

Lawmakers and firefighters in NSW, where temperatures were expected to reach 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) said they were prepared, but warned there was only so much they could do.

"We are planned, we are escalated to a high level of standby and readiness," Fitzsimmons said.

There were 54 fires ablaze across the state, around half of which were uncontained, Fitzsimmons said, adding around 3,000 firefighters were deployed or on standby.

Australian wildfires injure firefighters and destroy homes

  Australian wildfires injure firefighters and destroy homes CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Officials say more than 50 homes have been damaged or destroyed and 13 firefighters were injured overnight by catastrophic wildfires across Australia's most populous state before the emergency subsided. The fire service said Wednesday that at one point on Tuesday, 16 fires raged out of control at emergency level simultaneously across New South Wales state. State Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she was relieved that the destruction on Tuesday had not been worse.There were no fires burning at emergency level early Wednesday, but rain that would quench the fire danger is not forecast for months.

Bushfire conditions will escalate from tomorrow and continue through to at least the weekend For those in fire-affected areas, please stay tuned to your local emergency broadcaster, and follow Tomorrow catastrophic fire danger is forecast for the Greater Sydney and Greater Hunter.

Australian firefighters battle blazes, brace for more. Australian firefighters raced on Sunday to contain widespread bushfires that have left three people dead, and warned of ' catastrophic ' fire conditions ahead, including around the country's biggest city of Sydney. Three people have died in New South

"We are not going to control fires under catastrophic conditions," he said. "They have the ability to develop and grow extremely quickly and develop into very large fires."

Seeking to avoid deaths, firefighters have been given broad powers to control government resources, force evacuations, close roads and shut down utilities.

Around 600 schools and colleges were closed as a precaution and authorities advised anyone suffering respiratory conditions to stay indoors.

In Queensland state, the danger was not quite as great, with the threat level pegged at "severe", two levels below the "catastrophic" conditions in NSW. Still, some 22 fires were burning across the northern state.

(Graphic: State of emergency: Australia's bushfires: https://graphics.reuters.com/AUSTRALIA-BUSHFIRES/0100B30H252/index.html)

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Jane Wardell)

Woman risks her life to save a koala .
At least six people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed by bushfires.A woman, who said her name was Toni, was seen on video taking off her shirt and charging into the flames to save a koala. She doused the smoldering marsupial with water and took it to a sanctuary, where it's doing well.

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