Australia Bushfires Worst In 30 Years

Bushfires in South Australia have been burning for roughly four days.

Over 400 firefighters, 80 fire trucks and 14 aircrafts are currently working to try and push back the bushfires and protect the lives of residents and their property. Twenty-two of the firefighters have been injured and one of the fire trucks was destroyed.

Unfortunately, the bushfires have already destroyed approximately 11,000 hectares of scrub. There has been a significant loss of property, though the full numbers have not become available as of yet. One of the confirmed losses was Tea Tree Gully, a boarding kennel, where upwards of 40 dogs and cats were killed in the bushfires.

The bushfires in South Australia have been named the worst of bushfires in the past thirty years. Having begun in Sampson Flat in Mount Lofty Ranges, the flames have been compared to the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983.

Those bushfires were responsible for the deaths of 75 people and a great deal of destruction across Victoria and South Australia.

The Country Fire Service (CFS) has reduced the warning from the highest level to a watch and act level recently. None-the-less, they are urging residents to be vigilant. The bushfires may not be done with their destruction.

“The fire behavior may be erratic and burning in all directions,” the CFS said. “There is a risk to lives and property.”

Several areas have been urged to evacuate. People in those areas of Australia, if they have not evacuated yet and still have any way to do so, should.

The CFS gave a warning.

“Take shelter before the fire arrives as radiant heat can kill you well before the flames reach you… The CFS urges anyone within the Houghton, Inglewood, Paracombe, Gumeracha, Birdwood, Upper and Lower Hermitage, Kersbrook, Lobethal, Lenswood, Castambul, Cherryville, Forest Range, Charleston, Norton Summit, Montacute, Oakbank Balhannah, Uraidla, Piccadilly and Williamstown areas to enact their Bushfire Survival Plan. Due to the uncertain nature and impact of the fire behavior the Adelaide Hills faces today it is imperative that people within these vicinities take appropriate action now.”

Many homes have been evacuated since the start of the bush fires, and many more have been without electricity and will likely have to deal with those conditions for a while longer.

Saturday afternoon brought high winds, rain and lightning across Victoria. Despite the possibility of lightning and winds to spread the bushfires, the rain won out and offered some relief.

“We were fortunate not to have any new major incidents,” a State Control Centre spokeswoman said.

[ Image courtesy of Campbell Brodie/The Australian ]