Winds intensify NSW bushfires: 100 homes destroyed

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2019

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian warned that next week's weather forecast "could mean we're not through the worst of it".

More than 30 people including firefighters received medical treatment for burns and one patient had a cardiac arrest, he said.

Both states have been plagued by severe drought, and while some parts of New South Wales celebrated rain over the weekend, it was not widespread enough to mitigate the damage done by months of historically poor rainfall, making this fire season more unsafe than usual.

Eighty-two fires are burning across New South Wales, according to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

"Unfortunately we are in uncharted territory this afternoon".

The fire season in Australia varies by area and weather conditions, although it usually occurs during the southern summer (between the months of December and March).

But this is a dramatic start to what scientists predict will be a tough fire season ahead - with climate change and unfavorable weather cycles helping create a tinderbox of strong winds, low humidity and high temperatures.

There are reports of people trapped inside of their homes with crews unable to reach them due to the strength of the fires.

In a tweet Friday, Rob Rogers, Executive Director Operations at the NSW Rural Fire Service described the fires as "unprecedented" and asked residents to "avoid fire affected areas".

One person has died, two were missing, 35 were injured and more than 100 homes have been destroyed by wildfires razing Australia's drought-stricken east coast, officials said on Saturday.

Hundreds of people fled their homes along a 500-kilometre swathe of the eastern seaboard from the Queensland state border south to Forster.

Farther north, in Queensland, thousands of residents near the resort town of Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast, spent the night in evacuation centers.

People in the path of a large, unpredictable and fast-moving bushfire at Tarome in the Scenic Rim area were also told they were in danger and should leave before it was too late.

"I can only recall a figure of less than 10 that we (previously) got to, which was an extraordinary event in years past", Fitzsimmons said.

"Sometimes koalas seem to be doing really, really well". "There are really grave concerns that there could be more losses or indeed more fatalities".

A burnt koala named Anwen, rescued from Lake Innes Nature Reserve, receives formula at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital ICU in Port Macquarie, Australia, November 7, 2019.

Firefighters moved from spot to spot trying to put out small fires caused by the falling debris.

Despite easing conditions, a prolonged drought and low humidity levels will continue to make circumstances combustible.

Winds are set to be "relentless" throughout the evening, Fitzsimmons added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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