Popular Australian tourist destination devastated by bushfire

Jan 1, 2016
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At least 116 homes have been destroyed in a bushfire that continues to rage along the coast of Australia’s southeastern state of Victoria, but so far no deaths have been reported.

Firefighters in the Australian state are battling blazes that have ruined many people’s Christmas.

“Since Christmas Day, I know what the refugees sort of feel like, the uncertainty”, Mr Barbante said.

Lorne and Allenvale were put on a “watch and act” alert.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley praised residents for their response to the evacuation order, which had been prepared in advance and was quickly executed.

The fire has temporarily closed a section of the Great Ocean Road, which winds along Victoria’s coastline and past the region’s famed “Apostles” — a collection of giant limestone stacks that jut dramatically out of the sea. Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said grants would be available to help those who had lost their homes. In February 2009, bush fires across Victoria state killed 173 people and destroyed 150 homes in the worst blazes in the nation’s history.

A change to cooler weather and rain has greatly reduced the threat, but some emergency warnings remain in place. The two CFA staff were also volunteer firefighters.

60 tankers more than 500 fire fighters and 18 aircraft happen to be engaged in fighting with the fires.

The fire later jumped the Great Ocean Road and reached the beach, but Mr Jacobs, his mother, sister and her boyfriend had left for Wye River and then to Apollo Bay.

The fires began with a lightning strike on December 19 and, fanned by winds, have already burned greater than 2,000 hectares.

“The Otways are the driest we’ve seen them in decades”, he said.

Victoria is one of the most fire-prone regions in the world.

Many of those forced to leave their homes had to spend Christmas night in hastily-arranged shelters.

“It’s quite huge, out towards Wye River”, he told Fairfax Media at about 3pm.

Bushfire at Wye River near Victoria's Great Ocean Road

 

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