Australia deploys military aircraft & navy ships to help fire-ravaged communities

Australia deploys military aircraft & navy ships to help fire-ravaged communities

Australia deploys military aircraft & navy ships to help fire-ravaged communities

Rural Fire Service (RFS) firefighters conduct property protection near the town of Sussex Inlet on December 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia.

"We do have reports of additional missing persons but I'll have more to say about that late on today once we've confirmed those numbers, but we have lost lives as part of this fire and that is a bad tragedy".

With the widespread power and communications outages across the South Coast please share this information to as many affected people as possible.

Police in New South Wales said Tuesday that two men, believed to be father and son, died in a house in the wildfire-ravaged southeast town of Cobargo, while there are fears for another man missing.

"We haven't been able to get access via roads or via aircraft - it's been socked in [runways have been closed] or too risky". "We do have a dynamic and a unsafe fire situation across the state", Mr Crisp said.

With thousands of people still stranded, Australia's military has been drafted in.

Near Mallacoota, which is halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, an estimated 4,000 were forced to evacuate their homes and vacation rentals as the fires ripped into town.

Australian bushfires continue to rage as firefighters started the new decade trying to tackle the deadly blazes.

HMAS Choules is expected to arrive mid-morning on Thursday and could take 1000 people at a time, "an option that we're seriously considering" Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.

In Mallacoota where 4,000 had huddled on the foreshore as fire swept through, authorities were preparing for the possibility that the town could be cut off for weeks.

On Wednesday it was revealed Victoria's fires claimed a life.

Many people have returned to find their homes burned to the ground, with the task of rebuilding shattered communities expected to take years. Many stood in shallow water to escape the flames.

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"It wasn't good. It's turned out pretty devastating for everyone", he told AFP.

The mercury is forecast to creep up in the region on Friday, before reaching the 40s on Saturday, when the heat, hot winds and possible thunderstorms will increase the risk of new fires.

"There's a lot of people holidaying, again, up in those areas", Crisp said.

"The fire was just throwing the water back on us".

"Very sad day for us to (start) the year but we're a bloody tight family and we will never forget our mate and my attractive Uncle Mick", posted Robertson's niece Leah Parson on Facebook, the BBC reported Wednesday.

State and federal authorities are struggling to contain the massive blazes, even with firefighting assistance from other countries, including the United States.

"At the very least, weather conditions will be at least as bad as what they were yesterday", New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

Three emergency teams set up medical centers and evacuation locations on the beach for residents, according to a Victoria state agency.

The two confirmed deaths raise the toll to at least 12 in Australia's wildfires, which also have razed more than 1,000 homes in the past few months.

The smoke has also wafted across the Tasman Sea and into New Zealand.

The unprecedented crisis has sparked street protests calling on the government to immediately act on climate change, which scientists say is creating a longer and more intense bushfire season.

Some communities cancelled New Year fireworks celebrations, but Sydney's popular display over its famous harbour controversially went ahead in front of more than a million revellers.

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