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Australia faces worst fire conditions in decades

Australia is currently facing what has been called one of the “worst fire events in decades” as bushfires continue to devastate three of its states, including New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

With high temperatures and strong winds fuelling the bushfires, ninety percent of New South Wales was declared in severe danger, reported The Australian News.

The government has raised “catastrophic” fire danger rating in Illawara, Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges, where more than 100 fires were burning. “Extreme” rating, on the other hand, is raised in other parts of the state, where fires are most likely to worsen.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned Australians to be vigilant all throughout the extreme weather conditions.

“We, of course, are very concerned about these extreme weather conditions in New South Wales. The word catastrophic is being used for good reason. So it is very important that people keep themselves safe, that they listen to local authorities and local warnings,” she said.

According to The Australian News, the worst fires recorded were in the south of NSW, near Cooma, Nowra, Bega and Wagga Wagga.

As of this writing, while around 40 fires are still uncontained, there had been no reports of casualties or loss homes, as residents were provided with early warnings and measures by fire authorities.

Meanwhile, a large bushfire that remains uncontrollable in state of Victoria’s southwest is expected to persist up until tomorrow as the state deploys fire fighters near the border to also help tame bushfires in NSW.

South westerly winds were expected later today, which would push the blaze towards the Princes Highway close to Dartmoor, said Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley. He added that fire was not expected to hit Dartmoor directly, but the town was on the highest alert.

The Tasmanian blazes are threatening the small bayside towns of Eaglehawk Neck, Pirates Bay and Doo Town. To date, it already burnt 22,000 hectares, including Old Jetty Road and Blowhole Road.

Due to the current bushfire conditions across the state, Tasmania has ordered a total fire ban from midnight of January 7 to midnight of January 8. Bushfires in Australia

Bushfires frequently occur in Australia during the hotter months of the year due to the country’s mostly hot and dry climate. Large areas are ruined by bushfire every year, which also cause loss of life and properties.

The worst bushfire tracked in Australia was the Black Saturday bushfire between February 7 and 8 in 2009 which badly affected the state of Victoria. Record-high temperatures and strong winds drove the blaze which killed 173 and injured 414. Additionally, over 2,000 homes and over 3,500 structures were damaged. – C. Dominguez

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