US firefighters battle bushfires

US firefighters battle bushfires

12 December 2007

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Australia — Firefighters continued to battle three bushfires in South Australia on Tuesday, hoping to contain the blazes ahead of a forecast wind change and hot conditions.

Reinforcing crews from New South Wales were due on the island to relieve exhausted firefighters who have been working the fire zone for almost a week. Firefighters from Western Australia were also expected to arrive in the region later, local media reported.

”At night, you know you look at the skyline and it’s quite frightening, yeah for sure,” said one resident.

The Country Fire Service (CFS) said the fires on the island were started by lightning strikes last week, and have so far destroyed a total of 28,000 hectares of scrub and wilderness.

”And then, I dive in here, into this hole in the ground and this is where, if the fire was coming through, I’m assuming I’m going to be safe in here,” a second resident said.

The largest fire, in the Flinders Chase National Park, had blackened about 11,000 hectares and continued to burn overnight as firefighters were involved in back-burning operations to establish control lines.

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