Firefighter killed in Australian blaze

2014-11-01 14:18
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Sydney - A firefighter was killed and at least two homes destroyed by Australian spring wildfires, officials said on Saturday.

The 38-year-old volunteer firefighter was severely burned while battling a blaze on a farm near the town of Nantawarra in South Australia state, said state country fire service chief officer Greg Nettleton. The fire was later contained.

At least two homes were razed by wildfires on the outskirts of the town of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, in New South Wales state, state rural fire service inspector Ben Shepherd said.

The service's deputy commissioner, Bob Rogers, said firefighters had battled to protect homes in Katoomba from flames fanned by winds of up to 80km/h.

"There'll be a lot of work to clean up this fire in days to come," said Rogers.

Wildfires

The winds had dropped off by late Saturday and the danger posed by the fire had decreased, although the blaze remained out of control, Shepherd said, adding that the damage was being assessed.

Around 70 wildfires were blazing across New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, on Saturday, Shepherd said.

Destructive wildfires are common in much of Australia during the spring and summer months.

More than 200 homes were destroyed by wildfires in the Blue Mountains last spring during a particularly devastating start to the wildfire season.

Read more on:    australia  |  fire  |  environment

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