“Thousands Trapped On Australian Beaches By Dangerous Bushfires”

“MELBOURNE/SYDNEY – Thousands swarmed to beaches on Australia’s east coast on Tuesday to escape fierce wildfires bearing down on several seaside towns, as the government readied naval vessels and military helicopters to aid firefighting and evacuations.

Government officials called for Australian military support and assistance from U.S. and Canadian fire crews as authorities confirmed two people had died overnight, taking to 11 the total deaths in wildfires since the beginning of October.

The huge bushfires have destroyed more than 4 million hectares (10 million acres), with new blazes sparked into life almost daily by extremely hot and windy conditions in bushland left tinder dry after a three-year drought.”

Sonali Paul and Swati Pandey report for Reuters December 30, 2019.

SEE ALSO:

“Australia Bushfires: Towns Devastated And Lives Lost As Blazes Turn The Sky Red” (Guardian)

“Australia Fires: Thousands Flee To Beach To Escape” (BBC News)

Editorial: “Bushfire Tragedy Shows Need For Climate Leadership” (Sydney Morning Herald)