Winds fan ferocious fires in Australia's most populous state

Winds fan ferocious fires in Australia's most populous state

More than 140 fires were burning across the state of New South Wales (NSW) and south east Queensland on Tuesday.

The state of emergency gives the Rural Fire Service authority to coordinate other government agencies, take control of infrastructure and government resources, order evacuations, and shutdown utilities like power and gas.

The severity of the fires so early in the season has sparked arguments about the threat from climate change and fresh criticism of the conservative government's refusal to curb the use of fossil fuels.

A water-bombing helicopter crashed while fighting a fire at Pechey, west of Brisbane, but the pilot survived with only minor injuries.

"There is nothing built or created to withstand the sorts of conditions that you can expect under catastrophic" conditions, said Shane Fitzsimmons, commissioner of the rural fire service for New South Wales state, which encompasses Sydney.

Mr Fitzsimmons said it was a relief that no-one died on Tuesday given "the enormity of these fire grounds".

Early on Wednesday morning, actor Russell Crowe tweeted that he was not in Australia when the Nana Glen fire broke out, but confirmed the blaze had hit his property there.

But despite the mammoth allegation, NSW Rural Fire Service were quick to set the record straight, and told Daily Mail that they would have had no idea who owned the house.

"We were fortunate the catastrophic ranges were not sustained for the long durations that were originally expected", Mr Fitzsimmons said. "We need to take a serious look at our future", she said.

According to Damien Cave of the New York Times, moisture levels of live trees and shrubs around Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, have fallen lower than they were in 2001, when the devastating "Black Christmas Fires" burned for almost three weeks across the state.

Morrison said Saturday that he had not considered whether the unprecedented fires were linked to climate change. Shrugging off the connection between climate change and worrying weather patterns, she added, is "missing the opportunity to prepare for future life in Australia". "It is disgraceful, it is disgusting and I'll call it out every time".

"Complacency kills - we can not afford for people to be complacent", New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters in Sydney.

Thompson said he was frustrated that the prime minister had refused to meet with them.

For those in fire-affected areas, please stay tuned to your local emergency broadcaster, have a bushfire plan in place, follow instructions from fire crews and avoid bushland areas.

There are fears this year's I'm A Celebrity may not go ahead as firefighters in Australia continue to battle huge bush fires just 10km away from the jungle site.

"Those aircraft come down during our fire season at the end of the North Hemisphere fire season", Thompson said.

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