Bushfires Threaten Homes in Australia, Fanned by Heat, Winds

Bushfires Threaten Homes in Australia, Fanned by Heat, Winds

13 September 2009

published by www.bloomberg.com

Australia —

Firefighters in Australia’s New South Wales state are battling 20 blazes fanned by warm weather and strong winds. About 30 homes at Guerilla Bay are under threat, according to an emergency services spokeswoman.

“Some people are leaving the area and others are staying to defend their properties,” Rebel Talbert of the state’s Rural Fire Service said by phone from Sydney today. “It is quite hot and windy, so that’s really driving these fires.” Guerilla Bay is close to Batemans Bay, which is about 280 kilometers (174 miles) southwest of Sydney.

A total fire ban has been declared for parts of the state, including Sydney, today as unseasonably warm temperatures and fresh winds combine to create dangerous conditions.

“TheBureau of Meteorology has advised that initial forecasts are expected to be exceeded today and that a number of areas across the State are now expected to experience extreme fire danger,” theRural Fire Service said on its Web site. All fires are banned in the Greater Sydney and Lower Central Western Plains and hazard reduction burns in those areas canceled, it said.

Sydney is forecast to have a very warm day with fresh and gusty winds and a maximum temperature of 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit), the bureau said at 11:35 a.m. Sydney time.

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