Sydney, Australia, Nov 1 (EFE).- The Australian fire services said Wednesday it had managed to control a forest fire ravaging the town of Tara, in northeastern Queensland, one of the most serious recorded during the wave of blazes that have hit the country for more than a week.
In Tara, where two fire-related deaths have been recorded and dozens of houses devoured by flames, an area larger than the city of Barcelona has been burned in this Australian town, with 3,800 inhabitants and located about 300 kilometers from the regional capital, Brisbane.
“The fire is within its containment lines (…) but we are still controlling them and patrolling in search of critical points to avoid any outbreak,” Regional Fire Service inspector Joe Cullen told Australian public network ABC.
The Emergency Service said in a warning message that the hundreds of evacuated residents of Tara “may return with caution.”
“The fire is expected to continue for several days, but crews have ruled that it is safe enough for people to evaluate their properties,” the service said.
Although this fire is one of the greatest concerns, dozens of forest fires are still active throughout Queensland, while neighboring New South Wales is also registering new fires.
In Silver Valley, with about 150 residents, authorities issued an “immediate evacuation” order, as have they for the rural towns of Watsonville, Dalveen or The Glen, all in Queensland.
While in New South Wales, authorities have issued alerts in towns such as Tenterfield or Penrith, the latter located on the outskirts of Sydney and where the flames have forced the evacuation of about 200 students from a public school.
Australia’s last two fire seasons have been small compared to the catastrophic “Black Summer” of 2019-2020, when hundreds of bushfires destroyed an area the size of Turkey and claimed 33 lives.
Australia, whose wildfire season normally begins on the east coast in November, will face drier than usual weather this year due to El Nino, a natural phenomenon caused by currents in the Pacific Ocean that, aggravated by global warming, could cause devastating disasters. EFE