CANBERRA, Australia, Oct. 17 (UPI) — Firefighters continued to struggle Saturday against wildfires in two states in eastern Australia.
Two fires threatened homes in central Queensland, while more than 20 fires were reported in New South Wales, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
A member of the New South Wales Fire Brigade died Friday after collapsing. He was part of a crew that had just put out a grass fire on Fingal Head, on the state’s north coast.
Earlier this year, as the Australian summer ended, explosive bush fires in Victoria killed 200 people and destroyed several communities. Many of those who died were overtaken as they tried to flee.
In Queensland, about 50 fires burned Friday, and the pace picked up Saturday as wind speeds increased. In Mount Archer National Park, residents were told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, while some residents of communities near Rockhampton were told their homes might be threatened within hours.
In New South Wales, the Fire Service warned the Brooms Head fire might spread to threaten property. Other blazes closed roads.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International