• Friday, Mar 05, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:52 pm

Storms help Australia contain Unesco heritage island fire

  • Published at 06:50 pm December 14th, 2020
An aerial view shows smoke following a massive bushfire in Australia's Fraser Island, also known
An aerial view shows smoke following a massive bushfire in Australia's Fraser Island, also known by its indigenous name K'gari, November 30, 2020 Reuters

'With the help of welcome rainfall and a massive response from crews, the fire is now contained,' Queensland Fire and Emergency Services tweeted on Sunday

Australian firefighters have managed to control a bushfire that burned more than half of the Unesco world heritage-listed Fraser Island, around two months after a suspected illegal campfire sparked the blaze.

The fire on the world's largest sand island, off Australia's east coast, destroyed large swathes of the isle's forests before heavy downpours arrived over the weekend.

"With the help of welcome rainfall and a massive response from crews, the fire is now contained," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services tweeted on Sunday.

Attention has now turned to the large weather system that brought the much-needed rain -- and with it, strong winds and the possibility of flooding to roughly 500 kilometres of the east coast.

"Many of the impacts from this weather event will be similar to a category one cyclone event," Queensland Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan told public broadcaster ABC.

Strong winds and rain are hitting tourist hotspot the Gold Coast, as well as Byron Bay, where the town's famed beach is at risk of severe erosion.

The storms come just over a week after a heatwave swept through much of the region, sending temperatures soaring to 35°C in some areas.

Scientists say climate change is fuelling more extreme weather in Australia -- including droughts, bushfires and cyclones -- which will only worsen as global temperatures rise.

The country is one of the world's leading fossil fuel exporters and the conservative government has dragged its heels on reducing carbon emissions, despite recent polling showing Australians are increasingly concerned about climate change.

The Fraser Island fire was the first major blaze of the Australian summer, coming as the country recovered from the devastating 2019-20 fires, which burned an area roughly the size of the UK and left 33 people dead.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said the fire burned through more than 50% of the 166,000-hectare island, raising fears of widespread environmental damage.

Known for its large population of dingoes, or native wild dogs, Fraser Island was listed as a world heritage site for its rainforests, freshwater dune lakes and complex system of sand dunes that are still evolving.

Also known as K'gari, meaning paradise in the local Butchulla people's language, it attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually.

The island will reopen from Tuesday after a two-week closure, though visitors will largely be restricted to undamaged areas.

51
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail