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Australia bushfire destroys over 50 homes, forces evacuation of five towns

25 December 2015 23:15


Australia bushfire destroys over 50 homes, forces evacuation of five towns

Dozens of homes have been destroyed by massive bushfire along the southeastern coast of Australia, which also prompted evacuation of five nearby towns.

Raging bushfire destroyed 53 houses and scorched about 2,000 hectares of land along the Great Ocean Road, Australia’s southeastern coast, on Christmas Day. The bushfire also forced evacuation of five Victorian tourist towns nearby.

A spokesman for Victoria’s emergency services said that a significant number of houses are believed to be lost.

More than 150 firefighters with eight aircraft and 60 fire trucks are trying to bring the fire under control, according to reports.

“There are a lot of areas we have not been able to get into,” said Steve Warrington, deputy head of the Country Fire Authority. “This is a big fire now. It is in dense forest. It will cause us problems for quite some time now.”

Officials said that the situation could get worse due to strong winds and high temperature.

“With extreme heat and high winds, with the change expected to come through in the early part of the evening … things are unstable, things are unsettling as well, there is a real sense of concern in those local communities,” said Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews.

There are no reports of injuries or fatalities yet.

Wildfires are common in Australia’s summer months between December and February. In 2009, a firestorm dubbed “Black Saturday” killed over 170 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes in the state of Victoria alone.

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