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Massive bushfires in Australia: The fires are out of control

Massive bushfires in Australia: The fires are out of control

The bushfires that broke out northwest of the Australian metropolis of Melbourne are still unclear. Local media reported on Sunday that fire crews have contained a fire that has raged for days near Ballarat in southeastern Australia.

However, some of the fires are not under control and could continue to burn for weeks, Victorian state officials said. According to AAP news agency, more than 500 firefighters are currently battling the blaze west of Ballaram. About 17,000 hectares of land have already been destroyed and six residential buildings destroyed.

In the area surrounding the wooded community of Mount Lonarch, emergency services called on remaining residents to seek shelter inside buildings immediately – it was too late to leave the area now. Fires are out of control and threaten homes and lives.

“Starting now is dangerous,” the emergency service urgently warned. In some surrounding areas, the danger from the fire is now considered reduced and residents have been allowed to return to their homes.

However, several cities had a warning from civil defense that it was not yet safe to return.

Officials were also concerned about the weather forecast, which predicted summer temperatures of more than 40 degrees for the coming week, accompanied by strong winds. Conditions fueling the fire on Wednesday should be particularly unfavorable.

Victoria's Emergency Management Minister Jacqueline Simes urged residents to be prepared. “Don't make your decisions until it's too late.” But even without extreme weather forecast for Wednesday, it will be at least three weeks before the fire is completely extinguished.

According to Simes, emergency responders currently rotate on duty to prevent fatigue. “We know our first responders will be out there for days to come, and we want to make sure we're taking care of their health and well-being.”

Australia's spring and summer could be the most violent bushfire season since the devastating “black summer” of 2019-2020, officials have warned. During that time, weeks of wildfires destroyed twelve million hectares of land and countless animals died or were displaced.