Friday, October 25, 2013

'As bad as it gets': Australia braces for worst of wildfires

Blue Mountains, Australia (CNN) -- More than 70 wildfires -- including 29 that are uncontained -- are raging across a wide swath of Australia's most populous state, now threatening the western suburbs of Sydney, authorities said Wednesday.
"It's only a matter of hours before we see a flare-up in fire activity and a breach of these tenuous containment strategies," said Shane Fitzsimmons, Rural Fire Service (RFS) commissioner, in Sydney earlier in the day.
The wildfires stretch along a nearly 1,000-mile line in New South Wales, from the far north of the state south of Brisbane -- which lies just across the Queensland border -- to east of Canberra, the country's federal capital. Fires in the Blue Mountain range west of Sydney are a particular worry as rough terrain has impeded firefighting efforts.
"If our strategies don't work and weather materializes tomorrow that is forecast ... it could be absolutely devastating," said Rural Fire Service (RFS) Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers in New South Wales on Tuesday. "We lost a couple hundred homes the other day -- we could get worse losses than that." Wednesday is expected to be "about as bad as it gets," added Fitzsimmons. Read More

Climate Condition contribute to more extreme weather events: The controversy started by a senior UN officials comments that there is a link between climate change and the devastating bushfires in eastern Australia continues. Read More