23/09/2020

Australia is yet again facing another week of bushfire catastrophe as residents in Victoria’s East Gippsland region prepare to leave their homes to escape an out-of-control blaze.

A further nine homes have been confirmed lost to the Kangaroo Island bushfire which continues to burn along its 120-kilometre eastern flank. The blaze is still uncontrolled with a number of flare-ups reported on Sunday and Monday and further expected over coming days.
However, no homes or lives are considered at immediate risk with warning levels maintained as a simple bushfire advice.
The latest damage assessment takes the total number of homes lost on the island to 65, with the fire also claiming two lives.
More farm buildings and cars were also confirmed destroyed on Monday.
Picture: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images
Country Fire Service chief officer Mark Jones said he expected outbreaks to continue across the fire zone, particularly in the afternoons as temperatures increased, probably for the next two weeks.
Each afternoon, as it warms up, the fires flare up and increased fire activity is noted, he said.
I expect that this will continue for a couple of weeks yet.
However, Mr Jones said a forecast wind shift on Monday afternoon caused by a trough would give crews an opportunity to better tackle some of the existing areas of concern and keep the fire in check.
This is painstaking, difficult and dangerous work, he said.
The CFS said about 390 firefighters and 83 fire trucks were on the ground, supported by 130 farm fire units.
Picture: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images
Five water-bombing aircraft were also in action, with four observation aircraft helping target their efforts.
About 400 other support personnel remained on the island, including more than 300 from the Australian Defence Force.
Mr Jones said crew rotations were continuing to ensure the wellbeing of firefighters on the island.
Were trying to rotate crews as much as possible, but to their credit, people keep putting their hand up and volunteering to go, he said.
I expressed my concerns long before this fire about fatigue to our crews. They have been fantastic.
At this time Im not concerned. Weve got lots of resources on the island.
But, of course, Im sensitive to the demands that have been placed against these volunteers.
-AAP