Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has paid tribute to hundreds of firefighters as they continue to battle massive bushfires wreaking havoc in the country’s east.
Morrison yesterday visited the control room of New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) in the Hawkesbury region, where several bushfires merged last week to form a “mega blaze” in Sydney’s north-west. Morrison attended a briefing from local firefighters, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said on his Twitter yesterday.
“The PM also delivered a message of thanks to crews in the field, via the radio network,” Fitzsimmons said. The Gospers Mountain mega blaze, which has merged with neighbouring fires and formed a 60-km fire front, continued to burn yesterday. It is about 75km north-west of Sydney’s city centre.
Authorities have said it has become “too big to be put out” and will likely burn for weeks until substantial rain falls in January. Some 1,600 firefighters are battling about 100 bushfires across the state. Yesterday, they were able to take advantage of “benign” weather conditions and conducted backburning, as well as establish containment lines with dozers.
The worst bushfire conditions have been predicted for Tuesday, with heat reaching more than 40C amid strong winds. Fitzsimmons told Channel Seven television the firefighters were trying to “gain the upper hand before we see those conditions deteriorate into Tuesday.”
Sydney’s beachgoers found black ash and other debris in the city’s eastern shores yesterday due to smog from bushfires burning across the state, with many sharing the photos on social media.
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