Disasters & Accidents

Australia battles massive bushfire in the east

Sydney, Australia, Dec 19 (EFE).- Australian authorities on Tuesday were battling a large bushfire near the eastern town of Narrabri that has burned already through over 112,000 hectares.

The fire is burning within the Pilliga forest, about 17 kilometers south of Narrabri, the Rural Fire Service (RFS) of the Australian state of New South Wales, said on its website on Tuesday.

“Though rain is being experienced across the northern end of the fire, thunderstorm activity could see erratic fire behavior and lightning strikes,” the fire service added.

Earlier the firefighters said that a fire-generated thunderstorm known as pyro-cumulonimbus had formed overnight, “causing erratic and dangerous fire behaviour.”

The fire service has asked residents of the towns of Baan Baa, Willala, Goolhi, Rocky Glen, Stannix Park, Bohena Creek, Jacks Creek and Wynella to “monitor conditions.”

Smoke from the fire can be seen across a large area, from Coonamble to the west and Tamworth to the east of the fire, and as far south as Dubbo, located about 200 kilometers from the fire, according to the RFS.

“Smoke is being experienced across the north west of NSW, into the Hunter region and down into Sydney,” about 520 kilometers away from Narrabri, it added.

Some 450 firefighters were trying on Tuesday to extinguish a total of more than 60 fires, 15 of them out of control, in New South Wales, amid high temperatures in that state.

Australia, where the climate crisis has worsened extreme weather events, is experiencing drier-than-usual weather this year due to El Niño, a natural phenomenon caused by currents in the Pacific Ocean which, aggravated by global warming, could trigger devastating disasters.

Large and destructive bushfires have already been recorded throughout October in the eastern states of New South Wales and Queensland, which claimed the lives of at least three people. EFE


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