Australia Fire Updates: Bracing for an Even Worse Weekend – The New York Times, The New York Times

Australia Fire Updates: Bracing for an Even Worse Weekend – The New York Times, The New York Times

On Friday, officials in the state of New South Wales dramatically expanded their estimate of the amount of land at risk.

Firefighters near Bendalong, New South Wales, Australia, on Friday.********************** (Credit …) ********************************** (Rick Rycroft / Associated Press) **************
Jan. 3,************************** (Updated) 6: am ET


SYDNEY, Australia – Already besieged by (one of the worst wildfire seasons) in Australian history, evacuees and those staying put on Friday braced for conditions to grow even more dire.Across Australia’s southeast, supermarket shelves emptied, gas stations closed and roads became clogged with traffic as skies turned a hellish red or a smoke-choked white ********************************. Firefighters were overwhelmed by more than 100 raging blazes and families were forced to make perilous stay-or-go decisions.

  • The toll so far includes************************************************************************** deaths, more than 1, 0 homes destroyed and thousands of animals killed. On Friday, experts and government officials offered a grim warning: The upcoming weekend is likely to be the most dangerous yet.
    Predictions for SaturdayEarly Friday, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service dramatically expanded its estimate of the amount of land at risk from spreading fires, including “ember attacks,” in which burning wood fragments are carried by wind. The weekend is expected to bring high winds and temperatures over degrees Fahrenheit, or about 60 Celsius.

    New South Wales, the state that includes Sydney, declared a state of emergency in its southeastern region on Thursday. Residents and tourists across a broad swath of the southeastwere advised to flee


  • The Royal Australian Navy began rescuing people trapped in Mallacoota, a seaside town in Victoria, after fires cut off its land-based escape routes. The Department of Defense
    afternoon that 75 People had departed on one of its ships, and about would leave throughout the day.
    (About 4,) ********************************************************************************************** (0 people, including about 3,********************************************************************** (0 tourists, were trapped in the town, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

    Some people would be unable to board the ships because it required using ropes to get on board, ABC reported. Those who made it onto a ship will take a 22 – hour voyage to get to Melbourne.Assessing the damage

  • more than a thousand homes have already been destroyed by the wildfires in Australia – and it has the potential to get worse.Mick and Sue Kelly spent much of the last years building the home of their dreams on a patch of forested land in Surf Beach, six miles south of Batemans Bay. “He’s not a bricklayer but he laid every brick himself,” Ms. Kelly said of her husband.they would sleep in one room with their two children while the rest of the house was under construction. He would go to his job and save up money and then take a break to work on the house.
  • On Christmas Day, the couple, now in their s, hosted their children and grandchildren as they had done every year, even as they knew fires were burning trees 18 miles from their home.