fbpx
Sunday, April 11, 2021

Victoria's bushfires: Scores of fires are burning out of control across Australia

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Orange sky and smoke in the air

Amidst all the celebration of Christmas and New Year, the most dangerous fires on Monday were in the state of Victoria. People in the town woke up to thick smoke and pale, orange skies. But as the fires drew closer, the sky turned red.

Around 1,000 people live there, but the population swells at Christmas, as Australians head to the coast to enjoy their holidays. About 30,000 residents and tourists were urged to flee East Gippsland – a popular holiday region – but evacuations were later deemed too risky as fires encroached on major roads.

Bush fire in Victoria

How bad are the blazes in Victoria?

Scorching temperatures, strong winds and thunderstorms created dangerous conditions in Victoria on Monday.

In East Gippsland, three fires burning near the towns of Bruthen, Buchan and Bonang rapidly expanded as temperatures soared to the mid-40Cs.

Officials said the wind-driven blazes were “racing” towards the coast, and had moved faster than predicted. Residents in northern Melbourne were told to “act immediately to survive” as firefighters struggled to battle an out-of-control fire.

Officials said the fire in Bundoora, some 16km (10 miles) north of Melbourne city centre, was “threatening homes and lives”. “The safest option is to take shelter indoors immediately. It is too late to leave,” Victoria Emergency said.

The fire, which reportedly damaged homes in the area, was later downgraded from the emergency level.Other emergency warnings remained in place for several fires in the state, with some urged to evacuate.

“We have had a challenging day in Victoria,” said Andrew Crisp, the state’s emergency management commissioner.He said the huge blazes had produced their own weather systems from smoke columns “punching into the atmosphere 14km high”. “There’s lightning coming out of these columns. It is unpredictable [and] it’s dangerous out there,” he said.

Similar fire-generated thunderstorms – or pyrocumulonimbus – were also recorded in NSW.

Lightning strikes in dry, drought-affected forests have the potential to quickly become fires that threaten lives and homes.

Dry lightning sparked at least 70 new fires in the region in the past 24 hours, officials said.

A 250km (155-mile) stretch of the Princes Highway, east of Bairnsdale, was closed on Monday.

On Sunday, Mr Crisp urged people in the region – about 280km (175 miles) east of Melbourne – to “get out”, but confirmed on Monday that many people had remained in the region.

Elsewhere in the state, a major New Year’s Eve music festival has been cancelled after organisers said the bushfire threat was too dangerous.

Some 9,000 people had already been camping at the Falls Festival in Lorne.

Access is by a single track, meaning it would not be possible for festival-goers to evacuate quickly.

“We are gutted to make this call but the safety of our patrons, artists and staff is our main priority,” said organiser Jessica Ducrou.

Across Australia, the fires have destroyed at least four million hectares (9.9m acres) in five states since September.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

0
To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

0
  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Review: The Big Bull

0
Forget comparisons. Even if you willingly dismiss the idea of sizing up The Big Bull against Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, Abhishek Bachchan's...

The living art of India

0
  Immerse yourself in the colourful, vibrant and transformative arts of India. Over three weeks we will dive into a world where art is not...
man taking selfie

Selfie culture: what your choice of camera angle says about you

0
  Over the past decade, selfies have become a mainstay of popular culture. If the #selfie hashtag first appeared in 2004, it was the release of...
joji amazon prime

Review: Joji (Amazon Prime)

0
  Just when you'd think another fresh take on William Shakespeare's Macbeth couldn't possibly be done, comes Joji. Fahadh Faasil's new collaboration with director Dileesh...

An artistic feminist protest by Rakini Devi

0
  Born and raised in Kolkata, Rakini Devi has spent most of her artistic journey engaging with feminist issues, be it dowry deaths in India...