Friday, March 1, 2024
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Australian firefighters battle fatal bushfire, homes lost

SYDNEY (AFP) – Firefighters were struggling to tame a five-day-old bushfire that has killed one person and consumed 32 homes in Australia’s eastern state of Queensland, officials said yesterday.

Bolts of so-called dry lightning – produced by thunderstorms with little rain – are complicating the task by setting off a string of fires in the state’s dry bushland, the fire service said.

Fire crews were now battling about 20 bushfires across the state, said Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Peter Hollier.

One of the most intense – near Tara in the agricultural Western Downs region – had burned through more than 20,000 hectares since it erupted at the start of the week, he told public broadcaster ABC.