- Bushfires have continued to wreak havoc in Australia, with fires in New South Wales and South Australia destroying a number of homes.
- The Green Wattle Creek fire devastated the small NSW town of Balmoral in NSW.
- Climate activist Greta Thunberg also chimed in on the bushfires, and called out Australia’s lack of climate action.
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
Bushfires continue to wreak havoc on Australia.
Several homes have been lost following bushfires that have continued to rip through parts of New South Wales since last Thursday, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said on Twitter.
The small NSW town of Balmoral in the Southern Highlands was ruined by the Green Wattle Creek fire that tore through it twice over three days, SBS reported.
Balmoral Rural Fire Brigade captain Brendan O’Connor told the ABC around 90% of bushland in and around the town had been destroyed. However, at least 95% of people were able to leave before the fires struck on Saturday.
“We’ve got the devastating news there’s not much left in the town of Balmoral,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told a press conference on Sunday.
Homes were also destroyed by the Grose Valley fire in the Blue Mountains and the Gospers Mountain ‘mega fire’, the ABC reported.
A view of the Grose Valley fire burning out of control in Blackheath – filmed about an hour ago from the 7NEWS helicopter. People in the area are advised to monitor the changing conditions. https://t.co/TWh1KQycs4 #NSWFires #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/HZUPu0fxbu
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) December 22, 2019
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Gospers Mountain blaze – named as a ‘megafire’ after it combined with a number of other blazes – destroyed 444,000 hectares of land, about seven times the size of Singapore.
South Australia has also suffered from bushfires, with more than 40,000 hectares of land burnt in the state and homes left destroyed. The Adelaide Hills bushfire also caused smoke which affected air quality in Adelaide, The Guardian reported.
More devastation from the Adelaide Hills bushfire @abcadelaide
???? Steve Opie pic.twitter.com/0QZphhNAfW
— Ben Nielsen (@benjnielsen) December 22, 2019
The bushfires also claimed the lives of two NSW RFS volunteer firefighters on Friday in a vehicle rolloverr, the RFS said in a statement. Another three firefighters were injured during the accident.
“This is an absolutely devastating event in what has already been an incredibly difficult day and fire season,” the RFS said.
Greta Thunberg calls out Australia amid the fires
Swedish 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg chimed in on the bushfires in Australia, and its failure to lead to political action. Thunberg, who was named the Time’s Person of the Year for 2019, took to Twitter on Sunday, saying “Not even catastrophes like these seem to bring any political action. How is this possible?
“Because we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustraliaFires.”
Not even catastrophes like these seem to bring any political action. How is this possible?
Because we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and increased extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustraliaFires
That’s what has to change.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 22, 2019
Greta’s comments come after Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologised for taking a trip with his family to Hawaii during the bushfires.
Morrison was criticised on social media during his absence and decided to cut his leave short and return to Australia.
“I deeply regret any offence caused to any of the many Australians affected by the terrible bushfires by my taking leave with family at this time,” Morrison said in a statement.