At this time of year, Australia is known around the world for just one thing – wildfires, due to the excessive heat the Great Southern Land receives, as well as the amount of dry trees and brush that randomly catch fire because of these excessive heat waves. In the disaster’s seventh day, 59 wildfires (Source: AFP have been spreading throughout the New South Wales state of Australia, with its main concentrations within the Blue Mountains and Lithgow regions.
According to Yahoo! News, these wildfires are being branded as “the state’s worst fire emergency in almost 50 years.” Various wildfire blazes have been extinguished thus far; however, many of these wildfires are still active, and forty of the wildfires have been classified as uncontrollable (at this point).
Shane Fitzsimmons, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, stated on Yahoo! News that these fires in the Blue Mountains and Lithgow regions were “deliberately and tactically joined” by the practice of backburning, which is “to clear (an area of scrub, bush, etc.) by creating a new fire that burns in the opposite direction to the line of advancing fire.” (Source: TheFreeDictionary). Fitzsimmons also stated that “We are seeing positive results of these very deliberate, very targeted, very decisive strategies being deployed” in relation to the backburning strategies.
Fitzsimmons announced that “We have got now probably 24 hours before we see the worst of the weather starting to develop and build across all these fire ground areas.” (Source: Yahoo! News) This is relating to the temperatures (and winds) expecting to worsen within the next day or so; however, cooler air is expected to enter the forecast later in the week.
New South Wales’ most popular newspaper, The Sunday Morning Herald, states that Premier Barry O’Farrel has declared New South Wales “A State of Emergency” for the next 30 days. The Sunday Morning Herald also states that “Mass forced evacuations affecting tens of thousands of people are possible” as many evacuations have already taken place.
Other areas affected are: Mount Victoria, Hall Road (near Wollondilly), Linksview Road (near Springwood), and Stockrington Road (near Newcastle). (Source: Channel 7 News)
[Image source: Google Maps]