Australia 4 years ago today


December 31, 2019 Australia bushfire smoke
December 31, 2019 Australia bushfire smoke

Very large bushfires in December of 2019 were rapidly spreading through areas of New South Wales and Victoria in southeast Australia, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of burned hectares, blackened forests, and destroyed structures in their wakes.

Authorities in Victoria confirmed that at least 43 structures were destroyed in the Gippsland region where more than 400,000 hectares (988,000  acres) had burned. Many of the structures were in the Sarsfield and Buchan areas.

The military was activated to assist firefighters and the public. The Australian Defense Force deployed Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters, as well as fixed-wing aircraft and Navy vessels for firefighting support and evacuations. Authorities were considering using helicopters to fly in food and other supplies to people cut off by fires and road closures. Fire aviation specialists from the United States and Canada arrived in Australia to help manage aircraft.

12/31/2019 New South Wales

New South  Wales
At least 40 homes were destroyed by fires in Conjola Park on the south coast of NSW as the fire burned through on December 31. Many residents fled to the beach.

Many structures burned in Cobargo, including some of those along Princes Highway, the main street going through the town.

An engine crew from Fire and Rescue New South Wales Station 509 Wyoming recorded the video below showing the moment their truck was overrun by a fire south of Nowra, NSW. The crew was forced to shelter in their truck as the fire front passed through. The video was posted by NSW Rural Fire Service December 31, 2019 local time.

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