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Northern Australia warned to prepare for worst bushfire season in decade

Canberra, Aug 15 (IANS) Authorities have warned that Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) is facing its worst bushfire season in over a decade.

Tony Fuller, the Bushfires NT chief fire control officer, recently said that a blaze currently burning near the central city of Alice Springs is only the start of a potentially devastating season, reports Xinhua news agency.

He warned that up to 80 per cent of the NT is expected to burn by the time the fire season ends in March, with fuel loads at 50-year highs following years of high rainfall.

“To give an indication of what we’re expecting, in 2011-12 we lost 80 per cent of the Northern Territory to fire — we’re expecting that this season or into next year,” he was quoted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“It’s what’s called a decadal event where there’s a build-up of fuel. This season we’ve had extra rain just before the season and that’s just added to our fuel load.”

The fire reached Alice Springs on August 12 after a planned burn by NT Parks on August 10 broke its control lines.

As of Monday, the fire was 34 km wide and 16 km long.

It is one of 322 fires already reported in the NT since the start of August.

The fire season in the northern part of the territory ends in November and central Australia’s starts in October.

Fuller said the Alice Springs fire was an example of what was to come.

“Not to be too alarmist, but this is a precursor to what we’re expecting for the rest of the season in Central Australia,” he said.

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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