ePaper

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sydney bushfire 'highly suspicious'

  • Print

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.

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.

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.

More News For this Category

Chinese automaker plans electric car production in SAfrica

| By Asian Age Online
A state-owned Chinese automaker announced plans Wednesday to produce electric vehicles in South Africa, highlighting the growing role of the world's largest auto market in a technology seen as
Chinese automaker plans electric car production in SAfrica

Trump, Russia and China media attacks 'threaten democracy': report

| By Asian Age Online
Press freedom around the world is under threat from a triple whammy of US President Donald Trump, Russia and China's bid to crush all dissent,
Trump, Russia and China media attacks 'threaten democracy': report

Migrants 'caravan' arrive at US-Mexico border

| By Asian Age Online
Dozens of Central American migrants from about 600 travelling in a "caravan" through Mexico arrived at the border city of Tijuana late on Tuesday
Migrants 'caravan' arrive at US-Mexico border

Trump, Macron mull new Iran nuclear deal

| By
US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have suggested there could be a new agreement on Iran's nuclear programme.
Trump, Macron mull new Iran nuclear deal

Boko Haram attacks leave 21 dead

| By
Suspected Boko Haram militants killed 21 people in separate attacks in a remote northeastern region of Nigeria.The militants shot dead 18 forest workers who had been collecting firewood in

Hillary attacks Trump for all-out war on truth, facts

| By
Hillary Clinton has excoriated Donald Trump, telling an audience in New York press rights and free speech are "under open assault" under an administration she compared to an authoritarian
Hillary attacks Trump for all-out war on truth, facts

Quake in south-east Turkey injures 39

| By
An earthquake struck Turkey's south-eastern province of Adiyaman early on Tuesday, injuring 39 people and damaging buildings, state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The US Geological Survey (USGS)  said the

Russia and China seek international support for Iran nuclear deal

| By
Russia and China are asking UN member states to back a draft statement expressing"unwavering support" for the Iran nuclear deal, a senior Russian diplomat said on Tuesday, in a

New Zealand cinema bans pyjamas and onesies

| By Asian Age Online
A cinema in New Zealand has banned people from wearing pyjamas, onesies and dirty boots to screenings, in a move designed to raise dress
New Zealand cinema bans pyjamas and onesies

Suspected Waffle House gunman arrested

| By Asian Age Online
A man suspected of killing four people at a Waffle House in Tennessee has been arrested by police in Nashville.
Suspected Waffle House gunman arrested

© 2018 The Asian Age