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170 Fires Rage Across Australia's New South Wales State

Over 1.2 million acres of land have been destroyed by the blazes
Jan. 15, 2012

A photo of the Wambelong Fire smoke plume in Australia, taken by a commercial airline pilot and posted by Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. (Credit: Ku-ring-gai RFS)

Fires continues to rage across Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, where blazes have torched at least 1.2 million acres of land. The fires began in Tasmania in early January, where more than 120 homes were destroyed by the flames, and have since spread quickly due to extraordinarily hot weather conditions in the region. In fact, the first six days of 2013 were among the 20 hottest days on record in Australia.

On Monday, an enormous fire roared through the Siding Spring Observatory, Australia's largest optical astronomy observatory, strengthened by hot, strong winds. Authorities feared the observatory's telescopes, which are run by Australian, American Polish, British and South Korean researchers, would be destroyed, but they appear to be intact, according to Space Daily. Still, it is not yet known the extent of any damage on the equipment.

RELATED ON SKYE: 50 Must-See Weather Photos from 2012


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When I lived in Melbourne in the 1960,s there were bush fires every year around December time in the Dandenongs and Diamond Creek area clearly visible from the city of Melbourne. It was explained as natures way of propagating the rebirth of much of the vegetation which needed fire to release seeds .
Properties were destroyed and infrequent deaths. Humans still have not learnt that they are not welcome every where by nature.
On my visits to California there was also evidence of fires every where.
Nothing changes we are now more aware of the events due to media.

January 16 2013 at 3:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Get it out....godspeed friends !

January 15 2013 at 6:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Michael Becker

This is just TERRIBLE! USA and the world just haven't caught on, even though USA had a plethora of wildfires due to our own drought. What a shame! I pray for Australia and its fine people every day.

January 15 2013 at 12:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Excuse me but I seem to be a bit skeptical about the damage statics, over 1.2M acres is about 1900SM or about the size of Rhode island, yet that one picture of one solitary spreading fire captured by an airline pilot shows something the size of a small town on fire, even look at the other satellite photo.

Second Australia had worse damage in history . The Black Friday Bushfire in Australia’s Victoria State on January 13, 1939. Some 5 million acres burned (7,800 square miles) and 71 died. This pails in comparison, and if it was hotter today than back in 1939 ( assuming there are tempatures recorded for this area) .. one could say it's thankful it's not as bad as the 1939 fires that are clearly many times worse than this.

Lets see if any einviromentalists claim this is caused by global warming, I wonder if they care to explain the much worse 1939 fires before this part of the globe and was even into heavy industrial manufacturing or even thought of driving a SUV.

Yeah I know it's terrible these fires happen, but I am sick of organizations trying to use events like these to make false points and justify their lawmakers to set laws to enforce falsely based beliefs on everyone else. The media needs to be credible and up-most responsibility more than ever, lately all were getting served is propaganda. I for one ain't buying any of it.

January 15 2013 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

my home is to the north of there

January 15 2013 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow. Thats just wrong. I hope they get control of it soon. Stay safe people, things can be replaced, you cant.

January 15 2013 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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