Australian bushfires: Thousands have been forced to leave their homes

Nellie Chapman
November 11, 2019

More than 60 fires continued to burn on Sunday night.

NSW Rural Fire Service fire behaviour analyst Simon Heemstra described the upcoming conditions as "very hot, very dry and very windy". We can not guarantee an aircraft will be overhead every time a fire is impacting on your property.

'One of the things that we should ensure, though, is that politicians don't get in the way of the work that has to be done, ' Mr Albanese told ABC television.

"And we certainly can not guarantee that despite our best efforts the technological tools available will deliver you a message in time".

Find fire updates for New South Wales here and for Queensland here.

Everybody has to be on alert no matter where you are.

Conditions on Tuesday in the greater Hunter region north of Sydney were also rated as catastrophic, the highest level of bushfire danger, while extreme or severe conditions were predicted for other parts of the state.

"Catastrophic is as bad as it gets. Homes are not created to withstand a fire under these conditions".

Meanwhile, high winds flung embers and burnt debris far ahead of the fires' front lines, depositing the risky detritus on the balconies and front yards of unsuspecting residents.

Firefighters found another body Saturday morning in a burned vehicle near Glenn Innes - a victim of the same fire that killed Chaplain.

Sixteen structures, including homes and sheds, have been damaged or destroyed by the Cobraball fire but there has been no loss of life.

"Students unable to attend an examination due to the bushfires will not be disadvantaged", she said in a statement.

Playing fetch with a Beluga whale
As you can see in the video, it happily goes after the ball and returns it to the crew before tossing it out again for another go.


Winds are expected to pick up in the afternoon and no rain is forecast throughout the weekend.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service will also expand closures of national parks and reserves until further notice.

'These are really extraordinary circumstances, particularly at this time of the year, at the beginning of the season or before the normal bushfire season, ' Mr Albanese said. At least one house was lost, a firefighter suffered a broken leg and 6,000 residents were evacuated from three communities in the state's southeast.

"We are not out of the woods yet because there is going to be constant fire danger over the next week, right up until Friday, with Wednesday being a very serious day", she told reporters.

The other victims were Vivian Chaplain, 69, and George Nole, both of Wytaliba, in the Glen Innes area.

"These fires have already claimed two lives. and as we get access to further areas that have been cut off we are expecting worse news again", Morrison said during a televised news conference in Sydney. The home belongs to a woman aged 63, but police have said they require a post-mortem examination to confirm the person's identity and cause of death.

While firefighters will try to secure as many fires as possible over the next few days, Fitzsimmons said the reality was that they would "simply not be able to contain these fires".

RFS Comissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says every resource and pair of boots on the ground will be needed to deal with Tuesday's catastrophic conditions. "They've done a top job, them fellas", Russell told AFP after a crew of six firefighters brought the blaze under control. "We will be wanting as many firefighters available and on stand-by tomorrow".

Firefighters hold back a fire threatening a house at Tinonee near Taree.

Senior firefighters warned yesterday the blaze could become so unsafe in coming days that they may be unable to protect lives and property.

State Pemier Gladys Berejiklian said the worst may be yet to come.

They were also in discussions with the Australian Defence Force. More than 150 properties have already been lost to the fires. "We've got winds blowing, they're circling, it's like a cyclone".

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