Published on: 12/30/2019

Australia fires: one firefighter killed as bushfires rip through four states

User Image Web Editor Last updated on: 1/25/2020, Permalink

One firefighter has died and multiple properties are feared lost after terrifying bushfires driven by extreme weather conditions swept across four Australian states on Monday.

The volunteer firefighter from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service died when a truck rolled near Jingellic, about 70km east of Albury, on the border with Victoria. The RFS said two trucks, including the one in which the firefighter died, had been overturned by high winds. Two others suffered burns in the crash.

Ten people have now died during one of the worst bushfire seasons in the nation’s history, which have burned through more than 4.6m hectares.

Related: Victoria bushfires: hellish wait for those who fled – and those who stayed

The extreme weather conditions were expected to worsen late on Monday, after a horrific day in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, where authorities had called for mass evacuations.

Temperatures reached above 40C in all states, including Tasmania, where Hobart recorded 40.8C, its hottest December day ever. Several properties were reportedly lost in fires near Fingal in the north of the island state.

On Monday evening, 16 emergency-level fires were burning in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. In South Australia, conditions had been rated catastrophic across much of the state, but it survived the day without feared extensive property losses.

© Getty A firefighter conducts back-burning measures to secure residential areas from encroaching bushfires in the Central Coast, some 90-110 kilometres north of Sydney on December 10, 2019. - Toxic haze blanketed Sydney on December 10 triggering a chorus of smoke alarms to ring across the city, as Australians braced for "severe" weather conditions expected to fuel deadly bush blazes. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP) (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Firefighters were bracing for further strong winds, in some places forecast to reach up to 120km an hour, and dry lightning strikes, which authorities fear could be ruinous after a day of sweltering heat. New South Wales was expected to face the worst threat on New Year’s Eve.

1/25/2020 | 435 | Permalink