Australian bushfire horror: Three feared dead as raging inferno wreaks more devastation

Australian bushfire horror: Three feared dead as raging inferno wreaks more devastation

Near Mallacoota, which is halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, an estimated 4,000 were forced to evacuate their homes and vacation rentals as the fires ripped into town.

The sun should have shone through early this morning however for people who evacuated to the wharf, it was almost pitch black until 9am.

CNN ran Australia's bushfire crisis as their lead splash, focusing on the plight of residents in Mallacoota.

Some of those trapped in the town posted images of blood-red, smoke-filled skies on social media. "We've got literally hundreds, thousands of people up and down the coast, taking refuge on the beaches, in clubhouses, surf clubs".

Graham continued to say the fires have decimated such extensive areas of koala habitat that he believes that Australia will begin to see declines in the population of their iconic animal going forward. They pose a serious threat to life.

Thousands of people have been evacuated to beaches in Australia as the devastating wildfire season continues to claim lives as blazes rage across several states. He did not provide any further information on identities or exact locations.

Firefighters hose down trees as they battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Four people are also missing in eastern Victoria and officials fear for the fate of another person near the town of Narooma.

Authorities have started the process of assessing how many properties have been destroyed by the fires, which grew rapidly overnight as self-generated weather systems sparked dry lightning.

On Sunday, after numerous fires began in the larger East Gippsland region, authorities urged residents and vacationers to evacuate, warning that "it is not possible to provide support and aid to all the visitors" in the area.

Local community radio presenter Francesca Winterson, who was hunkered down in a building on the town's main street, told Australian Broadcasting Corp that emergency sirens were accompanied by loudspeaker announcements throughout the town warning people to take shelter immediately.

Meanwhile, across Victoria, over 200,000 hectares have already been burnt in the fires, according to the state's Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp. The region is popular with tourists, who go to see wildlife and hike in the national parks.

The death toll from more than three months of wildfires in multiple states now stands at 12.

Fire conditions in Victoria and New South Wales worsened after oppressive heat Monday mixed with strong winds and lightning. In the neighboring state of NSW there are more than 100 fires burning on Tuesday, of which 60 are yet to be contained.

Commissioner Crisp said authorities were considering using helicopters to fly in food and other supplies to people cut off by the fires and related road closures. "We were all covered in ash".

"It's going to be a very long, hard risky night still ahead", Shane Fitzsimmons, commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, told a briefing in Sydney. (CNN) Newsweek in the USA shared how Australia's fires could be seen from space.

A volunteer firefighter in NSW was the latest casualty when a truck he was riding in crashed and rolled over in the high winds. Samuel McPaul, 28, was the third volunteer firefighter in New South Wales to have died in the past two weeks.

Similar advice was given to people in several NSW coastal towns, where fearful residents and holidaymakers had also abandoned their dwellings to move onto beaches.

Andrews has requested assistance from 70 firefighters from the United States and Canada, while Australia's military sent air and sea reinforcements.

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