Wildfire in Australia raging for 10 days

Wildfire in Australia raging for 10 days

23 November 2006

published by www.earthtimes.org

Australia — An unruly wildfire is continuing to rage in the vicinity of aVictorian hamlet west of Sydney even as firefighters are trying to put it outwith the help of helicopters to drop water on the blaze.

More than 300 firefighters are in the hamlet to control the fire, spreading intothe deep and wooded Grose Valley some 80 kilometers west of Sydney, and believedto be the largest so far.

The fire, according to officials, started more than 10 days ago and had scorchedsome 12,000 hectares of inaccessible forest land in the Blue Mountains. Heavywinds lashing the area helped the fire to spread to neighboring areas and alsoto create several minor fires, which came closer to a number of towns in theperiphery of the woods.

Several hundreds of affected residents have been told to leave as the fireappeared to be getting out of control.

Though Wednesday was a cool day, there was no respite. Besides, weatherofficials said this could be a temporary reprieve.

Three firefighters were injured Wednesday, while one volunteer has been taken tohospital for observation after knocked down by a falling tree.

Fire services had sent reinforcements to the region as the weather is expectedto worsen next week.

In Australia, wildfires are called bushfires. They are a common occurrence everyyear during November-February, as hot and dry conditions are helped by heavywinds and sometimes thunderstorms with lightning help set a fire.

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