Australian heatwave: One person dead as bushfires in southern states intensify
Police are investigating allegedly deliberate fires in the state of Victoria
A least one person has been killed as dozens of wildfires tear across southern Australia on Friday, as the heatwave continues.
Authorities said 68 fires were burning across the state of Victoria, a dozen of which were suspected to be deliberate. Another 16 were blazing across the neighboring state of South Australia.
Wind intensified fires as they gathered pace on Friday, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) for several days across both states.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said one person died at home at Roses Gap in the Grampians region, northwest of the state capital Melbourne, but provided no further details.
Mr Lay said that 12 of the fires burning across Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, have been deliberately lit. Arson detectives are investigating.
Victoria Fire Commissioner Craig Lapsley said a blaze burning over 21,000 hectares (52,000 acres) of woodland near the Grampians generated a 12 kilometer (7 mile-) column of rising hot air that was triggering lightning and sparking spot fires.
Residents in the region had been advised to evacuate their homes, but several people have stayed to protect their properties, Lapsley said.
“They have a right to do so ... but they also take on that risk themselves,” Lapsley said.
“They risk the fact that these fires will be very intense and erratic this afternoon,” he added.
Fire conditions in Victoria are at their worst since 2009, when wildfires killed 173 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes.
Additional reporting by AP
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...