Twofarmers in southeastern Australia were severely burned Tuesday trying to protect their property from a bushfire, one of scores burning in the region.
The blaze near Bathurst was only one of more than 100 burning across the state during the day, although it was the most serious, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
A combination of high temperatures, no rain and high gusts of wind pushed the fire danger rating above the “catastrophic” 100 level in eastern and northern areas in New South Wales, The Land reported.
Residents of areas near Bathurst were evacuated as a fire reported at about 4 p.m. spread quickly to more than 3,000 acres. Gillian Kearney, a spokeswoman for the Rural Fire Service, said theweather made the fire unpredictable with spot fires often erupting hundreds of feet ahead of fire lines.
Two farmers were hospitalized with serious burns, The Land said.
Two firefighting helicopters collided in mid-air in heavy smoke. Both landed safely although one had damage that put it out of action.