In Australia, Thousands Trapped At Beach As Fire Closes In Around Them
Thousands of people are being forced to take refuge on nearby beaches as bushfires rage through popular tourist spots on Australia’s southeastern coast, according to CNN.
As the skies were cast in an apocalyptic red on Tuesday, around 4,000 people fled to the beaches in the town of Mallacoota, which lies on the easternmost edge of the state of Victoria.
“There’s no way in or out,” Mallacoota resident Jason Selmes told CNN after evacuating his home.
Across Victoria, over 200,000 hectares of land have already been burnt in the fires, according to the state’s Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp.
Although weather conditions are expected to improve in the next 24 hours, they will worsen again by the end of the week, bringing dangerous fire conditions.
For months, fires have devastated Australia. In Victoria, 70 new fires started on Monday, of which 20 are still active. In the neighboring state of New South Wales (NSW), more than 100 fires were burning on Tuesday, of which 60 have not yet been contained.
Many of the fires were sparked by dry lightning and assisted by strong winds and hot, dry weather. More than 900 homes have been destroyed in NSW since the start of the fire season and the number is likely to increase as firefighters struggle to contain them.