Sydney bushfire deemed ‘highly suspicious’ as threat eases

Latest news

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionHundreds of firefighters tackle the blaze in Sydney

    A large bushfire that has threatened homes in Sydney is likely to have been deliberately lit, Australian authorities say.

    The blaze, which began on Saturday, has burnt through 2,500 hectares of land in the city’s southern suburbs.

    Some residents had been warned of immediate danger to their lives, but firefighters say the threat has eased.

    The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) described the blaze as “highly suspicious”.

    “How dare anyone – if they are deliberately involved in lighting fires – endanger our firefighters and also [put] all these communities in harm’s way,” said Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

    The bushfire forced some locals to evacuate their homes on the weekend, while others were told it was too dangerous to leave.

    Recent weather in south-eastern Australia has been unseasonably hot, with strong winds fanning bushfires.

    Image copyright EPA
    Image caption Firefighters use helicopters to dump water on the blaze

    Authorities said wind speeds were not as severe on Monday, making it easier to battle the blaze.

    Mr Fitzsimmons said flames travelled “right up to the back fences” of houses, but no properties had been lost.

    “While the threat has eased, it is still a fairly vigilant fire ground and we want people to remain vigilant,” he said.

    “There is a lot of work still to be done today and maybe into tonight before we can call the fire contained.”

    Police have declared the fire a crime scene.

    Mr Fitzsimmons said it was possible that winds could strengthen again and elevate the fire danger.

    On the weekend, residents hosed down their houses and lawns to prevent embers sparking new blazes ahead of the advancing fire front.

    Image copyright DYLAN LONG
    Image caption Smoke seen from a football field in the suburb of Barden Ridge

    Major roads separating bushland and residences were cut off in some areas, and fire services used helicopters to dump water over key points.

    Pictures on social media showed firefighters and residents taking care of local wildlife affected by the blaze.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised the emergency response.

    “It is unseasonably hot and that’s a matter of obviously great concern, but we have to deal with the worst that Mother Nature can throw at us and the worse Australians are presented with by nature, the better it brings out the Australian spirit,” he said.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-43779186

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-43779186

    In the same category are

    The UK’s most ambitious children Image copyright Getty Images From an early age, children are asked about what they would like to do when they grow up. Their answers - and the jobs ...
    Contaminated blood scandal: Inquiry ‘must uncover truth’ Image copyright SPL Campaigners say it is time to find out the truth about the contaminated blood scandal that left nearly 3,000 people dead, as the...
    Glenn Close on playing The Wife and being a mother Image copyright Picturehouse Entertainment Image caption The Wife is largely set in Sweden but was mainly filmed in Glasgow Hollywood veteran Glen...
    Five things to know for the week ahead It's Monday, it's a new week, and while we won't pretend we know everything that's going to happen over the next seven days, we have some sense of wha...
    Shared ownership: Problems halved or doubled? Image copyright Thomas Paris Image caption Thomas Paris says that shared ownership suited his circumstances Thomas Paris was fed up. He was livin...
    Will organic revolution boost farming in India? In 2016, Sikkim, a small state in India’s northeast, was declared the country's first fully organic state. Since then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.