Large bush­fire near Syd­ney’s out­skirts

Viet Nam News - - ASIA -

SYD­NEY — Hun­dreds of fire­fight­ers were yes­ter­day bat­tling a large bush­fire that was rag­ing near Syd­ney sub­urbs, with au­thor­i­ties say­ing it was “mirac­u­lous” no houses had been dam­aged and noone had been in­jured.

New South Wales state po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of the bush­fire in south-west­ern Syd­ney, which started on Satur­day af­ter­noon amid un­sea­son­ably warm au­tumn weather and strong winds, with sus­pi­cions it was de­lib­er­ately lit.

The blaze has burnt through more than 2,430 hectares so far, with some lo­cals evac­u­ated from their homes.

De­spite the fire’s size and its prox­im­ity to sev­eral sub­urbs, with some lo­cals evac­u­ated from their homes, no prop­er­ties were known to be lost, the New South Wales Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice said.

“It is ab­so­lutely mirac­u­lous that we have not lost any lives and vir­tu­ally no prop­erty and this is be­cause of the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion and hero­ism of our fire ser­vices,” the state’s act­ing Emer­gency Ser­vices Min­is­ter Mark Speak­man told re­porters yes­ter­day.

NSW Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice Com­mis­sioner Shane Fitzsim­mons said the only dam­age re­ports were of fences and a chil­dren’s playhouse caught in the fire’s ad­vance.

Con­di­tions had im­proved yes­ter­day as winds eased, with fire­fight­ers work­ing to slow the spread of the flames. They also con­ducted con­trolled burns overnight to clear land that could be com­bustible.

Fitzsim­mons said it would be “sick­en­ing and rep­re­hen­si­ble” if the fire was dis­cov­ered to have been ar­son.

He added that a va­ri­ety of con­di­tions, in­clud­ing a dry sum­mer, con­trib­uted to the mag­ni­tude of the blaze.

“When you add on to that the un­sea­son­ably hot cou­ple of weeks we came into au­tumn and into the month of April, we were talk­ing about tem­per­a­tures well and truly in the 30s (de­grees Cel­sius), which were un­prece­dented,” Fitzsim­mons said. — AFP

Au­thor­i­ties said yes­ter­day it was “mirac­u­lous” no-one had been hurt in a large bush­fire in south west­ern Syd­ney, which started on Satur­day. — AFP/VNA Photo

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