Australia once again in the grip of devastating bush fires
Komorebi Post:Australian firefighters are out in force once again battling extensive bush fires, this time in the country’s south. Nineteen bush fires are currently raging across the south east of Victoria, leaving hundreds of people sheltering in emergency relief centres and unable to return home at this time. In some cases, residents have chosen to stay behind and attempt to defend their properties, and in others people have simply left evacuation too late and have been trapped between blazes.
Three significant fires are burning out of control, with erratic winds and unpredictable conditions set to continue for the next day at least. Dry lightning poses a very real threat in the current drought conditions, having caused fires across the state already, including a massive fire burning in the vicinity of Bunyip State Park which was sparked on Friday night. One hundred fire engines, eighteen heavy machines and ten airplanes have been put into action to fight the blaze, and over 850 firefighters have been working together to contain it. Over 12 000 hectares have been burnt in this fire alone and the town of Tonimbuk appears to have been entirely destroyed. Over 2000 firefighters are at work across the state.
Homes, businesses and infrastructure have been lost. Winery owner Andrew Clarke is one of the victims, having lost his grape vines, his business and his home. After watching everything burnt to a crisp on live TV, he made a tearful plea to those battling the blaze to please save the last remaining building on his land so he and his family would have somewhere to live – “We’ve lost everything.” The full extent of the current damage is difficult to assess, and with the situation yet to be brought under control, further loss of property seems likely. Emergency services are urging those who are still able to leave to do so now.