Deadly bushfires continue to rage in numerous areas

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Harrington bushfire
The scene at Harrington in New South Wales yesterday. PIC:  Facebook / Kelly-Ann Oosterbeek

Two people are dead as multiple bushfires continue to rage across great swathes of New South Wales and Queensland.

With some highways closed, and many caravan parks and camping areas being hugely affected, grey nomads are being urged to take extreme caution and to monitor the quickly changing situation closely.

At ones stage yesterday, 17 blazes in New South Wales were at emergency warning level. As well as the two fatalities, seven people are unaccounted for, and more than 100 homes have been destroyed in the state.

Firefighters found one body in a vehicle near Kangawalla, about 10 kilometres east of Glen Innes, where one of the most intense blazes took hold in the state’s north. The Rural Fire Service (RFS) confirmed this morning another person, a woman, died in hospital after she was found by authorities with severe burns near Glen Innes.

In the Crowdy Bay National Park area, the Kylies Beach and the Diamond Head camping area were closed as firefighters battled to protect homes from a blaze that has burned some 10,400 hectares.

More than 1000 firefighters and 70 aircraft battled in extreme conditions at Port Macquarie, Nambucca, Kempsey and Clarence Valley, further north at Tenterfield and Armidale, and in the Blue Mountains yesterday. The ‘unprecedented’ fires were visible from space by NASA’s satellites.

“We have never had this many fires at emergency level,” RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said. “We cannot overstate the flammability of the fuel given the current drought.”

In Queensland, 36 blazes were still burning across the state this morning. At Cooroibah on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, a fire front was at one point 200 metres wide and 20 metres high. About 2,500 people from 400 homes were evacuated from Cooroibah, but that fire has now has been downgraded from emergency level to a watch and act alert.

Some of the blazes have been so intense and dangerous that the public has been warned to avoid being caught in the open because the bushfires were creating their own weather system.

“Some are creating their own weather conditions and pyrocumulous clouds are developing,” the NSW Rural Fire Service said. “These are extremely dangerous.”

Pyrocumulous clouds can produce dry lightning.

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One Response to Deadly bushfires continue to rage in numerous areas

  1. This is terrible, devastation to property is enormous, lives lost and people injured. A BIG thank you to the Firies, SES, Council, Police, Fire and Rescue and all the volunteers who have put their lives at risk to protect our property.

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