Over 100 bushfires rage in Australia

Canberra, Sep 9 (IANS) More than 100 bushfires were on Monday raging across two Australian states, while weather services warned that strong wind gusts and dry air were hampering efforts to control the fires that have damaged around 50 houses and several other buildings.

Although there were three more months left before the start of summer, in Queensland, 65 fires kept raging on Monday and it is expected that the unfavourable weather conditions continue for at least another day, reports Efe news.

Queensland’s acting premier, Jackie Trad, said that 47 structures – a majority of them residential buildings – had been damaged or destroyed by the fires, the greatest concern in the area around Cairns and southern Brisbane.

In the neighbouring state of New South Wales, dozens of fires remained out of control, with the most extensive in Armidale and Drake, spread over more than 60,000 and 30,000 hectares of land, respectively.

Firefighters confirmed on Monday that five houses had been burned and four had been damaged in the towns of Tenterfield and Drake.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued an alert due to strong winds on the state’s coast that have hit the region over the weekend and could lead to fires intensifying further.

The fire season in Australia varies according to area and weather conditions, but is generally recorded between spring and summer (December to March).

The most serious fire in Australia in recent decades burned through 4,500 sq.km in the state of Victoria in February 2009, causing 173 deaths and 414 injuries.