Australia – Bushfires at Great Ocean Road, a tourist area in Australia, caused more than a hundred houses to burn down on Christmas Day despite the effort of about 500 firefighters and 13 firefighting aircrafts to stop the flames.

The wildfire had its origin back in December 19 when a lighting stroke nearby around the area. The windy weather then caused the fire to spread across Great Ocean Road and its surroundings, burning down over 2,000 hectares.

According to a state’s emergency services spokesman, they have confirmed a number of 98 homes burned at the Wye River community, as well as 18 more at Separation Creek. That sums up a total of 116 houses in the two areas, around 75 miles southwest of Melbourne.

Despite the heavy band of rain that moved across the state in the early hours of Boxing Day, bushfires continue to burn along the Great Ocean Road, with strong winds creating difficulty for firefighters. Credit: ABC Melbourne

Emergency officials talked about the dangers of dry conditions, as they could keep prompting to more fires in the state of Victoria.

“This fire doesn’t go away. We will be back into hot, windy weather in January without a doubt. Everything’s available to burn,” said Craig Lapsley, a commissioner for the state’s emergency services, according to New York Daily

Residents of the town of Lorne received an evacuation alert on time, so the fire hasn’t claimed any lives. Additionally, the situation improved slightly thanks to rain overnight. However, officials warned that there was still potential danger, as there were many hotspots.

State Premier Daniel Andrews conducted air monitoring of the area and warned that the number of affected houses might increase. He also added that those people who lost their home would receive financial aid.

As a security measure, traffic circulation was interrupted at Great Ocean Road during Saturday, an usually busy day for a town with touristic appeal. The same goes for walking tracks at the Great Otway National Park, as the fire also reached the insides of the place.

This hasn’t been the first time Victoria has suffered catastrophic bushfires. Back in 2009 the state went through the “Black Saturday”, a fire described as the worst of its kind in the history of Australia.

Source: New York Daily