Heatwave coming as fires ravage southeastern Australia

NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia (NBC) – A mass evacuation is underway in Australia. Thousands of people are fleeing wildfires on the country’s eastern coast and hundreds of fires are still burning with 100° temperatures are in the forecast.

The fires are the country’s worst ever, having killed at least 17 people and destroyed more than 1,400 homes.

Roads are blocked and people are being urged to evacuate as the bushfires are closing in. But it’s a heatwave due to hit this weekend that has everybody worried that it’s about to get worse.

Local fire brigades, mostly volunteers, are doing what they can to keep the fires from spreading. But the threat is unprecedented.

Over 100 fires burning in New South Wales alone and barely half of them are contained.

The military has been deployed to help with the evacuations. Thousands of people have been stranded on beaches. But the government is being criticized that it simply isn’t doing enough.

“How come we only had four trucks to defend our town?” one resident asked. “Because our town doesn’t have a lot of money, but we have hearts of gold Mr. Prime Minister.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “I understand the very strong feelings people have, they’ve lost everything and that’s why we’re going to do everything we can to ensure they have every support they will need.”

Waterbombers will resume operations in the morning to try and keep the larger bushfires from merging. But there is no controlling the weather, especially the wind, which is expected to pick up by Saturday.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content