2:50 PM (AEDT) in the last sixty minutes we’ve gone from 0 to 10 emergency warnings for out-of-control bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland.
It seems surreal to be writing this, but there are over 71 fires currently burning in NSW, most of them uncontrolled, and in Queensland, there are 55 (there were 70 five days ago). And, while finger-pointing isn’t going to put them out, it’s worth noting that the Coalition government has sacked a third of NSW national parks rangers (who perform hazard reduction burns) since coming into power in 2011.
“Everyone we have spoken to, since Saturday, has said that this is unlike anything they have seen before. Many have lived through fires in the past, but this is completely and utterly off the charts,” @mjrowland68 is in Taree, NSW #NSWfires pic.twitter.com/1mtF6M1ilY
— ABC News (@abcnews) November 12, 2019
Persistent high temperatures and strengthening winds are ensuring that these are going to be the worst bushfires our country has ever seen. And, with so many fires burning—at unprecedented speeds—it’s difficult to accurately report on the situation. But here’s what’s happening right now:
The NSW Rural Fire Service has issued ten emergency warnings across the state, including for fires at Hillville Road (near Nabiac and Failford), Llangothlin (near Armidale), Thunderbolts Way (north of the Gloucester), Gulf Road (south-west of Tenterfield), and Hillville Road (south-west of Taree). For additional information and up-to-date reporting, consult the RFS (Rural Fire Service) website above, or you follow them on Twitter HERE.
— Mauza (@mauzleep) November 12, 2019
A state of fire emergency has been declared across 42 local government areas in Queensland. The main concern is in south-east Queensland, and conditions are expected to worsen into the afternoon. Queensland RFS website above, Twitter HERE.
In NSW, nearly 600 schools have been closed, and residents are preparing for catastrophic fire conditions across Greater Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra/Shoalhaven. Dozens of bushfires continue to burn across Queensland and Australia’s east coast. A ‘catastrophic’ FDR (Fire Danger Rating) is issued when fires are likely to be so fierce that even a well prepared, well-constructed and actively defended home may not survive.
Exhausted firefighters 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭Our genuine heroes 😭😭😭😭
— KEEERRRRRR (@bubuke4U) November 11, 2019
Details of The Salvation Army’s disaster appeal to help support evacuees and emergency services during the current crisis can be found HERE.
This is my father’s home being destroyed by #NSWfires a few weeks ago – just one of 64 in this fire alone. Two of his friends were killed. My brother and his wife have today had to evacuate their home. I think now is a very good time to talk about #climatechange. pic.twitter.com/b5Xw4kYNnE
— Carol Duncan (@carolduncan) November 11, 2019
The Red Cross has a register allowing affected residents and their families to reunite.
Our supernaturally inept Prime Minister would love to know what you think of the job he’s doing HERE.
For anyone trying to keep track of the #NSWfires today, @GeoscienceAus‘s #DigitalEarthAU “Hotspots” tool tracks fires in near real-time using the latest data from multiple satellites:https://t.co/sDPMsstgNX pic.twitter.com/0YBmzFKlLj
— Dr Robbi Bishop-Taylor (@EarthObserved) November 12, 2019
This is an incredibly sad situation, but the emotion most felt by people affected is anger. Read this op-ed by the mayor of Glen Innes Severn council Carol Sparks to get angry yourself.
Moments after tipping the burnt remains of his family home onto the footpath outside NSW Parliament, Aaron Crowe declared now was precisely the right time to talk about climate change. https://t.co/LC9TKOzztF #NSWfires #nswbushfires
— Heather McNab (@heatherlmcnab) November 12, 2019