There are, on average, 62,000 fires in Australia every year. The satellite studies tell us that lightning is responsible for only 13 per cent. Arson, mischief and recklessness: 87 per cent of fires are man-made. Almost 4 million hectares have been burnt so far: so imagine almost the entire state of West Virginia being reduced to ash.
Victoria is also in the grip of the worst bush fires since Black Saturday.
The city of Mallacoota is completely surrounded by flame and 4,000 people have been forced to flee and seek shelter on the beach.
This single bush fire near a coastal town called Bermagui covers around 250 square miles. Residents of affected areas were told to flee their homes around dawn today (Australia time) and to take shelter on the beach.
Staggering scenes right now in the coastal town of #Mallacoota in #Australia where thousands of people are surrounded and cut off by a bush fire. They’ve apparently been told to prepare to go into the water once fire approaches.
In East Gippsland, at least four people are missing with more than 30 properties destroyed.
In city of at Mallacoota, 4,000 people were forced onto the beach to escape the flames