Entire island burns on the Hawkesbury River after lightning strike sparks huge bushfire

Entire island burns on the Hawkesbury River after lightning strike sparks huge bushfire

27 August 2018

Published by http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

 


UK – An entire island has erupted in flames after a lightning sparked a fire during a mid-afternoon storm.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service first received reports of a fire on Lion Island, on the Hawkesbury River near Palm Beach and Umina, at 3pm yesterday.

Inspector Ben Shepherd from the NSW RFS told Daily Mail Australia that there have been reports that a lightning strike is the cause.

In a tweet the RFS wrote: ‘Crews are on scene at a bush fire burning on Lion Island north of Palm Beach.

‘There are no threats and crews are liaising with National Parks and Wildlife before moving onto the Island to extinguish the fire.’

Lion Island is home to one of New South Wales largest little penguin colonies.

In 2007 there were 300 breeding pairs on the island and it appeared to be stable, however more recent reports suggest the colony is in decline.

The island is a nature reserve and signage on the little beach tells people that they can not be there.

There are also no foxes, or other animals deemed as ‘pests’ on the island.

Firefighters first concern was the fauna on the island, particularly the penguins.

Attending firefighters chose to burn half the island in order to contain the fire.

The fire was contained at 8pm yesterday.

The NSW RFS said at this stage there has been no impact to the fauna on the island.

However National Parks and Wildlife will be on scene today for a closer look.


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