At least 30 houses and some 50 other buildings were destroyed by bushfires over the weekend in Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state, authorities said on Tuesday.

The most serious damage was in the Sir Ivan reserve, where the fire destroyed 23 houses, including five in the town of Uarbry, located some 380 km northwest of Sydney.

Fires near the coastal towns of Port Macquarie and Kempsey, as well as in Narrabri village, destroyed seven homes, while blazes near the town of Dunedoo damaged 51 outbuildings and a church, the authorities added.

Firefighters, who are still battling about 60 fires in New South Wales, 19 of which remain out of control, are taking advantage of a drop in temperatures, although it is feared that conditions similar to the weekend, when temperatures rose to 40 degrees Celsius combined with strong winds, could reappear, Efe news reported.

In a 2016 report, Australian authorities warned of the future worsening of extreme heat waves and bushfires as a result of the global increase of carbon dioxide emissions.

The country’s worst bushfire incident in recent decades occurred in early February 2009 in the state of Victoria, causing the death of 173 people, 414 were injured and over 4,500 sq.km of land was burned.

First Published | 14 February 2017 9:17 AM
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