Aussie firefighters prepare for hot winds

Aussie firefighters prepare for hot winds

25 February 2009

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Australia — Firefighters in Victoria race against the clock to douse and cover more than 680 miles of charred landscape before more hot weather moves in, officials said.

Officials expressed fear that more towns will be threatened if Friday’s predicted hot northerly winds and temperatures materialize, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Ewan Waller from the Department of Sustainability and Environment said the push is on so ground and aerial resources can be deployed quickly to any flare-ups or new fires.

“We’ll be expecting new starts and we’re expecting also that some of the fires that we are patrolling and working with at the moment will relight,” Waller said.

Meanwhile Victorian government officials said more financial support would be available to bush fire survivors, ABC said.

VictorianPremier John Brumby said the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund will issue cash grants of up to $5,000 to tradespeople who lost tools necessary for their jobs in the blazes.

“That could range from being a self-employed roofer or tiler, through to a hairdresser,” he said.

The death toll from this month’s Australian bush fire disaster is 210.

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