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Exhausted firefighters battle Australian bush blazes amid fears three may merge into one firewall


Australia

Exhausted firefighters battle Australian bush blazes amid fears three may merge into one firewall

Exhausted firefighters continue to battle wildfires across the Australian state of New South Wales.

The hottest September on record has added to the difficulties faced by the emergency services.

Although weather conditions cooled on Monday, the winds have whipped up the flames.

Authorities said in a worst-case scenario three fires at State Mine, Mount Victoria and Springwood may merge.

A further 800 firefighters are due to arrive in the area on Tuesday.

Franck Vincent from the Rural Fire Service explained how they are tacking the blazes: “We are implementing a back-burn here to prevent the front of the fire coming here and impacting on the Gross Valley. If it happens to get into the Gross Valley it is going to create a lot of problems, there are a lot of towns down there where it will impact on when it comes up out of the Gross. We actually haven’t got the units to cover it, but we need to address this and make sure it doesn’t happen.”

New South Wales declared a state of emergency on Sunday, which gives authorities the legal right to issue mandatory evacuation orders and cut off gas and power supplies if deemed fit.

Hundreds of houses have already been destroyed and welfare centres set up to receive those who have no shelter.

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