World News: Sydney bushfires ravage Australia destroying 2,500 hectares… as fire chiefs say fires were lit DELIBERATELY

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OUT-OF-CONTROL bushfires in Australia burned 100 homes to the ground and destroyed 2,500 hectares of land over the weekend, with officials warning communities to “watch and act” over the next few days.

Temperatures in bushfire-affected areas in Victoria and New South Wales reached 41 degrees celsius over the weekend, with hot, strong winds causing them to grow quickly.

Bushfires are a common occurence in Australia – where temperatures reached 41 degrees celsius over the weekend
Getty – Contributor

500 firefighters worked through the night to control a separate blaze in Holsworthy on the outskirts of Sydney – a fire which the Rural Fire Service assistant commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said had been deliberately lit.

He said: “It is sickening and reprehensible. How dare anyone in society think they can deliberately light a fire, endangering the people who are putting their lives on the line to bring these fires under control.”

Other fires were sparked by a strike of lightning – wreaking havoc on rural areas.

Out-of-control blazes in Bega and Tathra meant 22,000 homes were without power, with strong winds bringing down trees and power lines.

The country relies heavily on volunteer firefighters in summer
Over 500 firefighters battled blazes overnight

Over 700 residents were forced to flee their homes for safety – leaving cattle, caravans and their belongings behind to be destroyed.

Luckily, no lives were lost over the weekend.

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said: “It is a great credit to the firefighters, the volunteers, the emergency workers – all of the community has pulled together and provided such great support.”

A firebombing helicopter drops water onto spot fires in the countryside in an attempt to control them
Authorities said it was ‘miraculous’ that nobody was injured in the Sydney blazes
Getty – Contributor

Officials have said that conditions should ease on Monday, but “watch and act” warnings will remain in place for five locations in rural Australia

NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers has warned the country to exercise caution over the coming days.

Five of the 22 fires are still burning across the country; it could take several days for until firefighters are able to have them extinguished.

Dozens of fire trucks head to the country to help tackle the blazes over the weekend

Bushfires are a common, deadly threat in Australia’s hot, dry summers, fuelled by highly flammable eucalyptus trees which populate the country.

The “Black Saturday” bushfires in Victoria, 2009, killed 173 people injured more than 400.

In response to politicians arguing about whether climate change was a contributing factor to the blazes, prime minister Turnbull said: “You can’t attribute any particular event, whether it’s a flood or fire or a drought… We are the land of droughts and flooding rains, we’re the land of bushfires.”

A resident in the south of Sydney clears embers of the roof of his house
AFP or licensors

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