Fight on to contain forest fires in Australia

Melbourne, Oct 6 (IANS) Authorities were on Tuesday struggling to contain the 200 forest fires raging in Australia’s Victoria state which destroyed one house and were threatening 190 other properties, officials said.

Many areas in central Victoria, including Benloch, Cobaw, Nulla Vale and Lancefield, have been declared emergency zones by fire services, EFE news reported.

The property destroyed by flames is in Lancefield, located 73 km north of state capital Melbourne.

A total of 21 planes were used to put out the flames in Lancefield, reeling under a heat wave caused by unusually hot winds produced by a high pressure system over eastern Australia.

“It’s been a tough day for the people out there, and also the firefighters out there trying to combat the situation,” state response controller Peter Rau said.

Up to 200 fires burned during the day and firefighters will continue operations overnight in Nulla Vale, Benloch, Karrisdale, Tallarook and Lancefield, Rau said.

“Some (fires) are in really difficult terrain and will require significant work over the next couple of days,” the official explained.

In addition to Victoria, firefighters were battling blazes in northern Toowoomba, in Queensland; near Bredbo, in New South Wales; and in Osterley, in central Tasmania.

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