In Australia fires, Two people were killed and a national park was nearly destroyed at the famous Kangaroo Island tourist site, authorities said Saturday.
Bad weather factors made it possible for Australia fires to continue to burn the Flinders Chase National Park on the island and threaten densely populated areas.
According to police, two people were killed when their vehicle was on fire near Parndana town, South Australia and the identity of the two victims remains unclear.
The fire started on Kangaroo Island in southwest Adelaide on December 20 and has since destroyed more than 1,000 square kilometers.
“The number covers almost all areas of Flinders Chase National Park, including building infrastructure.
“This incident must have involved large numbers of wildlife deaths,” said South Australia’s Steven Marshall.
The national park is home to kangaroos, koalas and a local animal known as echidna.
Climate campaigner tweeted the video of Australia fires an hour ago
Australia, is suffering its worst bushfire season in recorded history. Half a billion animals affected, over 250 million tonnes of CO2 released.
— Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) January 4, 2020
Warnings about the forest fires were also issued to more than half of the islands, prompting four cruisers to cancel plans for the port.
The flames were so large that the firefighters had to leave the area.
Temperatures however dropped sharply today and blizzard was reported to be moving north and east of the country.
Bush-fire warnings were in place for more than half the island. Four cruise ship tours that planned to dock had been canceled. The fires burned so intensely that the airfield used by aerial water bombers had to be evacuated.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison called up about 3,000 reservists on Saturday as the threat of wildfires escalated in at least three states. Strong winds and high temperatures were forecast to bring flames to populated areas including the suburbs of Sydney.
Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said this was the first time that reservists have been called out “in this way in living memory — and, in fact, I believe for the first time in our nation’s history.”
Morrison said 23 deaths had been confirmed so far this summer, including the two on Kangaroo Island.
More than 130 fires were burning in New South Wales and at least half of those were out of control. A total of 48 fires were burning across 320,000 hectares (791,000 acres) in Victoria state.
“We still have those dynamic and dangerous conditions, the low humidity, the strong winds and, what underpins that, the state is tinder dry,” Victoria Emergency Services Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service warned that a fire on the coast was generating its own weather system 290 km (180 miles) south of Sydney. “A fire-generated thunderstorm has formed over the Currowan fire on the northern edge of the fire near Nowra. This is a very dangerous situation,” the RFS said on social media.
An RFS firefighter was killed on Monday by a fire tornado caused by the collapse of a pyrocumulonimbus cloud formation that rolled over the fire truck he was in.
The early and devastating start to Australia fires has already burned about 5 million hectares (12.35 million acres) of land and destroyed more than 1,500 homes.