Bushfires still out of control in Northern Territory

Bushfires still out of control in Northern Territory

14 October 2011

published by www.news.com.au

Australia — BUSHFIRES continue to burn out of control in Central Australia, pushing exhausted fire crews to the brink.

A fire incident controller in Alice Springs, Ian Fox, said four large fire complexes were burning in areas north and east of the town.

The largest blaze, known as the Marqua complex, which has burned through 9800sq km, and other large complexes are burning elsewhere.

Mr Fox said the fires in Central Australia were being fed by high vegetation growth, caused by heavy rains, leading to the unusual situation of continuous ground cover.

Gusty, hot conditions on Thursday helped the fires spread.

“We had a couple of fires that travelled 30 or 40 kilometres in the day,” Mr Fox said.

Wildfires had been burning in Central Australia since early August pushing crews to exhaustion.

“Everybody is exhausted by this,” he said.

“This has been a whole of government response, and we have people working from all government agencies.”

Despite the number and ferocity of fires, so far nobody has died in the NT bushfires this season, and no homes have been destroyed.

There have, however, been extensive cattle losses and damage to fences, water points and pastures.

“Some places have lost more than 50 per cent of their pastures,” Mr Fox said.

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