Disasters & Accidents

Authorities order evacuation as Fraser Island fire nears Happy Valley

Sydney, Australia, Dec 7 (efe-epa).- The bushfire that has engulfed more than half of Fraser Island in Australia is fast reaching the Happy Valley township, forcing the authorities to order the evacuation of residents on Monday.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, in an advisory, asked the Happy Valley residents that leaving “immediately is the safest option, as it will soon be too dangerous to drive.”

“Any persons in the vicinity of Happy Valley township should leave the area heading to the Eastern Beach and head south to Eurong Resort.”

The statement, in a chilling warning, said the conditions in the area were “very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing.”

“The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path. Fire crews may not be able to protect your property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door. Act now.”

Happy Valley is one of the two towns on the world heritage listed Fraser Island in northeastern Australia with less than 200 permanent inhabitants.

Queensland authorities have also alerted residents and visitors to Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village about raging bushfires.

The fire, mainly raging in the eastern part of Fraser, called K’gari in the indigenous language, has blackened more than 82,000 hectares of land, which is more than half of the popular tourist destination.

The island is known for its dunes and wildlife, including dingoes or wild dogs.

According to experts, climate change is aggravating the fires in Australia, mainly in the south and east of the country, which last year suffered the worst forest inferno in decades with 24 million hectares of land burned hectares and 33 deaths.

It comes at a time when the conservative government of Australia, the largest exporter of coal in the world, remains committed to extracting gas on its path of economic recovery following the Covid-19 epidemic, which has caused the first recession in 30 years in the country. EFE-EPA


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