Fraser Island is on hearth as elements of Australia swelter by means of document warmth wave
Tourists and UNESCO World Heritage site workers have had to be evacuated as the fire nears local landmarks and the island’s unique forests have been smothered in smoke.
On Tuesday morning local time, fire and rescue services in the eastern state of Queensland warned Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village on the island as flames threatened the area in several locations.
Rescue workers used depth charges to slow the fire, but firefighters warned conditions could worsen.
“Firefighters are working to contain the fire, but firefighters may not be able to protect all property. You shouldn’t expect a firefighter at your door,” the directive says.
The Queensland Bureau of Meteorology said the risk of fire is likely to be exacerbated by high winds and extreme heat wave conditions that are expected to persist in the state for the next few days. The fire on Fraser Island was started by an illegal campfire. In nine weeks, it broke 76,000 acres of bone-dry bushland, according to CNN subsidiary Nine News.
The island, also known by the indigenous name K’gari, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 because of its unique forests and natural beauty. It is the largest sand island in the world and has the only tall rainforest that grows on sand.
But the makeup of the sand island made things difficult for the more than 30 crews fighting the fire on the island, the Queensland Fire Department said.
Incident Controller James Haig said in a video message posted on Twitter that “conditions are very challenging” but firefighters were doing their “absolute best” to mitigate the damage caused by such a large fire.
The crews are also fighting fires in dozens of other areas on mainland Queensland and New South Wales.
Record heat could spark another devastating bushfire season
It comes when parts of Eastern Australia smolder from a spring heatwave and temperatures rise to over 40 degrees Celsius on Saturday in Sydney. Meanwhile, parts of western New South Wales, southern Australia and northern Victoria have seen even higher temperatures near 45 ° C (113 ° F).
Sydney experienced the hottest November night ever on Saturday, with a minimum overnight temperature of 25.3 ° C (77.54 ° F), followed by a second straight day of over 40 ° C (104 ° F) on Sunday.
The Bureau of Meteorology said Tuesday this season’s spring would be the warmest in Australia and the hottest November. Bushfires are common across Australia, but conditions have become more dangerous in recent years. Australia has been getting hotter and drier for decades, and rainfall in South Australia has declined over the long term.
Last year was the hottest in Australia, with the seven years from 2013 to 2019 all ranking in the nine warmest years.
The devastating 2019-2020 bushfire season – known as Black Summer – was the worst in Australia. It burned nearly 12 million acres and directly killed at least 33 people and an estimated 1 billion animals. The New South Wales Bushfire investigation in March found that the record-breaking fire season had been worsened by climate change and warned that such devastating forest fires are likely to recur. The report found extreme drought in forest areas; large amounts of fuel, such as B. Foliage; and dry, hot weather spurred the fires, which quickly spread over large areas. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO’s 2020 State of Climate Report published last month said climate change is affecting the frequency and severity of these dangerous bush fire conditions in the country by affecting temperature, relative humidity and associated changes in the Fuel moisture content influenced. In the future, Australia can expect an increase in the number of dangerous fire weather days and a longer fire time for southern and eastern Australia, the report said.
“The Bureau of Meteorology and others have predicted another extremely dangerous fire season on the east coast and also in southwest Australia,” said Bill Hare, director of the Institute for Climate Science and Policy Analytics, on Tuesday.
“If that explodes again, it will be very damaging economically and psychologically. I think people are barely recovering from the bushfires last year and early this year. If you look at these regions now, you can see the damage they have.” . ” not been reversed. “