Australian farmers about to harvest their best crop in years are left devastated after fires sparked by lightning strikes across hundreds of acres of land
- Lightning started fires in central NSW on Tuesday, destroying vital crops
- Farmers expected to harvest the best crop in years before fires ripped through the fields
- Comes after millions of acres were scorched in the 2019/2020 fires
Farmers across New South Wales have been hit again after hundreds of acres of crops were destroyed by fires ignited by a wild storm.
In the aftermath of torrential rains, farmers were poised to harvest the best crop they’d had in years before a storm wreaked havoc in central parts of the state on Tuesday afternoon.
A heartbreaking photo shared by the NSW Rural Fire Service shows a field near the central NSW town of Collie, overshadowed by huge plumes of smoke as fires tear through acres of grain.
A fire rips through a field near Collie in central New South Wales on Tuesday afternoon
‘Mother Nature can be so nice and very cruel. After recent rains, farmers across NSW have been looking for the best crop in years, ” wrote NSW RFS.
A single acre can be worth at least $ 1000 to a farmer. Fires have burned no less than 500 ha in just a few hours this afternoon.
“Without the rapid response of farmers, firearms and water bombers, the losses could have been much worse.”
The storm serves as another cruel setback to farmers who suffered one of the worst wildfires ever last summer.
More than five million acres were destroyed in NSW, with farmers struggling to keep livestock alive and conserve crops.
The scorching weather of the weekend has now raised fears that the state is facing another hellish fire season.
Up to 30 wildfires burned in NSW on Tuesday after a two-day heat wave, with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees.
Farmers planned to harvest the best crop they’d had in years before a thunderstorm-lit fire swept across fields
Total fire bans are in effect in seven parts of the state, including the northwest, central area and Riverina.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott warned residents on Sunday not to become complacent after 62 fires in the state.
‘Here we go again. We have of course seen the first weekend with really significant wildfires, ”said Mr Elliott.
‘I want to make sure the message is very, very clear. What we’re seeing this weekend is pretty much in line with what we’ll potentially see over the course of this fire season.
‘We must not fall into a false sense of security. The community outside unfortunately thinks we are not at risk of forest fires after the last season.
“The reality is that 90 percent of the state is still untouched by forest fires.”
Helicopters are seen on Sunday bombing a wildfire that got out of hand in Sydney’s Northmead