Victoria’s Inferno: battling the blaze in Australia’s heatwave

South Australia is in the grip of fire. Terrible fires have forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes, while firefighters work tirelessly. The devastation caused by the flames is also visible from satellites

In the Australian state of Victoria, residents are facing what can only be described as hellish conditions. Hundreds of firefighters are racing against time to control devastating fires that have, by mid-week, forced over 30,000 inhabitants to evacuate their homes. The fires, which ignited about ten days ago, have ravaged rural landscapes, posing threats to homes and agricultural businesses, and remain uncontrolled.

According to the Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, an exceptional wave of heat, drought, and wind has created favorable conditions for the outbreak of “extreme and catastrophic” fires in South Australia.

Experts predict that temperatures in Mildura, a rural city of approximately 56,000 residents, could soon approach a scorching 45°C (113°F), potentially leading to even more dramatic consequences.

Over 1,000 firefighters are currently engaged in efforts to save kangaroos and other wildlife, as well as to extinguish a massive fire that has struck the city of Ballarat, located 95 km (59 miles) west of Melbourne. Here, flames have already consumed at least six homes and several outbuildings. This terrifying blaze was captured a few days ago by one of the Copernicus Sentinel-2 monitoring service’s satellites:

@Copernicus EU

The “scar” on the Australian landscape is clearly visible, showcasing the devastating scope of the phenomenon, which is expected to worsen in the coming days.

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