Deadly NSW bushfires see state of emergency declared

11 Novembre, 2019, 17:07 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • A firefighter works as a bushfire burns in Port Macquarie New South Wales

Fire officials in New South Wales said more than 150 homes have been destroyed.

The country's most populous city has been designated at "catastrophic fire danger" for Tuesday, when temperatures as high as 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) are forecast to combine with powerful winds for potentially deadly conditions.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian says her decision to declare a state of emergency has not been taken lightly.

"We have tools like state of emergency available to us to ensure there is no legal barrier, there are no operational barriers, to ensure that the people of the Rural Fire Service (can) do what they're meant to do", the minister said.

NSW has declared a state of emergency for seven days starting immediately as bushfires rage across the state.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said more than 1,400 personnel from interstate had joined the firefighting effort in NSW and 400 more were set to arrive today ahead of tomorrow's risky conditions.

"And that is not only trickier in New South Wales, we know of similar types of conditions that we are seeing in Western Australia on Tuesday as well".

Bushfires are common in Australia and a vast corps of firefighters had already been tackling sporadic blazes for months in the lead-up to the southern hemisphere summer.

Fitzsimmons said an additional 400 firefighters on 50 trucks were heading to NSW from the neighbouring state of Victoria to assist local authorities in tackling the 18 fires across the state, two of which have been deemed out of control by authorities.

"It's climate change; there's no doubt about it, " Carol Sparks, mayor of Glen Innes, told the Australian Associated Press.

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More than 60 fires were still burning in New South Wales and Queensland on Monday morning.

Morrison said Saturday that he had not considered whether the unprecedented fires were linked to climate change.

"My only thoughts today are with those who have lost their lives and their families".

"The firies (firefighters) saved ours", he told AFP.

"They don't need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and "woke" capital city greenies at this time, when they're trying to save their homes, when in fact they're going out in many cases saving other peoples' homes and leaving their own homes at risk". "It is disgraceful, it is disgusting and I'll call it out every time".

Emergency services have warned of a "catastrophic threat" as raging wildfires and worsening weather conditions head for Sydney.

Thompson said he was frustrated that the prime minister had refused to meet with them.

"Our main concern is with bush fire and that our fire seasons are becoming much, much longer that they used to be", Thompson said.

The NSW Fire Service (NSW RFS) has upgraded the risky fire conditions for Tuesday November 12 to include more areas.

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