At least two people were killed and one was feared dead as bushfires raged in parts of New South Wales state in Australia on Tuesday, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The deceased – a father and son – were from Cobargo village, said New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Warboys. One is feared dead near Narooma.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the fire was burning under an east north-easterly wind influence. “We have elevated the fire to emergency warning, particularly as it spreads towards the more populated areas closer to the Central Coast,” he added. The Rural Fire Service has advised residents in Mona, Arizona and Allinga Hiawatha Road to seek shelter as it was too late to leave the areas.
Canberra, the capital of Australia, cancelled all its New Year’s Eve celebrations on Tuesday. “Tonight’s New Year’s Eve in the City event in Canberra has been cancelled due to unprecedented extreme and highly unpredictable weather conditions,” Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr tweeted. “A deterioration today – with high wind gusts, heat, dust, smoke haze and likely thunderstorm – has led to the decision being made.”
In the state of Victoria, four people have gone missing, Reuters reported. Victoria has been the site of some of the fiercest recent fires.
A firefighter also died, while another was injured after their truck rolled over when it was hit by extreme winds amid raging bushfires on Monday, the news agency reported. As many as 11 emergency fire warnings were put in place in Victoria on Monday night. South Australia and Tasmania also face the possibility of bushfires.