News24

Bushfire razes homes in Australia

2012-11-12 09:01

Sydney - Seven homes were destroyed by wildfire in Australia, officials said on Monday, warning of a long and difficult summer ahead for firefighters.

The large blaze at Tulka, 12km south of Port Lincoln in South Australia state, razed the homes as it tore through 2 000ha of scrubland late on Sunday, the Country Fire Service (CFS) said.

Extra crews had been called in to help fight the fire, which was burning within containment lines but was yet to be brought under control. Residents had been evacuated.

"We have about 100 firefighters on the ground," a CFS spokesperson said.

"Although it's not posing any immediate threat it still hasn't been controlled."

Milder conditions expected

It was unclear what sparked the fire but it quickly gathered force due to the hot, squally weather, the spokesperson said.

Conditions were expected to be milder on Monday, favouring fire crews, but South Australia and most other states are anticipating a tough summer with hot and dry weather forecast.

"We've had a lot of rainfall, a lot of growth, a lot of vegetation and we're expecting a very busy fire season as a consequence of that," the CFS spokesperson said.

Southeastern Australia was last devastated by wildfires in February 2009, when a horrific blaze swept through Victoria state, killing 173 people and destroying more than 2 000 homes.

It was Australia's worst natural disaster in the modern era.