How good are the Canberra fireworks
Devastating bush fires in Australia : Sydney plans huge fireworks despite petition
Regardless of the bush fires that have been raging for weeks, the Australian metropolis Sydney is celebrating the turn of the year on Tuesday with a huge fireworks display. Almost 280,000 people had asked in a petition by Monday evening that the equivalent of four million euros for the event should be donated to support the voluntary fire brigades and affected farmers. However, the city council said most of the money had long been spent and tens of thousands of visitors had booked hotels and flights for the event.
The capital Canberra, however, canceled their New Year's fireworks because of the risk of fire. The worst bushfires on record have raged in Australia since September. Eleven people died, over 1,000 homes were destroyed and more than three million hectares of land - an area larger than Belgium - went up in flames. The state of New South Wales, in which Sydney is also located, is particularly hard hit.
More than a hundred active fires
NSW RFS, the New South Wales Volunteer Fire Brigade, imposed an absolute fire ban in eleven regions on Monday, including the setting off of fireworks. Anyone wishing to organize fireworks in these areas must obtain a special permit for which their own fire protection measures and the equipment available for their implementation must be disclosed.
There are currently 115 fires burning in Australia, dozens of which are out of control, according to news channel CNN. NSW RFS publishes information on the various sources of fire on its website and on Twitter on an ongoing basis. The residents of many small towns are encouraged to seek refuge in larger cities and on the beaches. For various locations, however, the fire brigade had to announce during the day that it was already too late to leave them. People who stayed in Cobargo or Coolagolite in southern New South Wales should retreat to permanent buildings, the fire brigade wrote on Twitter Monday evening.
The situation in the state of Victoria, which borders New South Wales to the south, is also serious. Andrew Crisp, Victoria State's civil protection chief, called on people in the east of his state to leave the area immediately on Monday. Several suburbs of the metropolis of Melbourne are also affected by the call.
The fires are fueled by the drought, high temperatures and wind. December 17th was the hottest day ever recorded in Australia with a national average temperature of 40.9 degrees Celsius. On December 19, Gladys Berejiklian, the Prime Minister of New South Wales declared a state of emergency for seven days. (Tsp, AFP)
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