Australian bushfire sparks emergency state

Australian bushfire sparks emergency state

18 October 2009

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Australia — The Australian state of Queensland has declared a state of emergency as fierce wildfires have forced thousands of residents to flee.

The blaze at Mount Archer National Park flared up late on Saturday.

Fire crews have been battling a large forest fire for several days and are hoping showers and thunderstorms forecast for today will help them contain the outbreak.

One local resident who has lived in the area for nearly 70 years described it as the worst fire she has ever seen.

It comes just days after Australia announced a national alert to warn of “catastrophic” bushfires as a new fire season threatens to eclipse blazes this year which have killed 173 people.

With drought, climate change and dry forest undergrowth combining to create perfect fire conditions, authorities have warned that the risk this summer could be the highest they have ever faced.

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