More than 350 koalas are feared dead after an uncontrollable bushfire rips through nesting sites while rescue workers turn it into a & # 39; national tragedy & # 39; to declare
- It is estimated that more than 350 koalas died in a bushfire that got out of hand
- The fire has reportedly scorched two thirds of Crestwood in New South Wales
- Nature rescuers have become a & # 39; national tragedy & # 39; explained
It is estimated that more than 350 koalas died in an out-of-control bushfire on the northwest coast of the NSW, with rescue workers turning it into a & # 39; national tragedy & # 39; to declare.
The fire has reportedly burned two thirds of Crestwood, an area south of Port Macquarie known as a koala breeding ground.
Sue Ashton, president of Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, said that based on a predicted 60 percent death rate, at least 350 koalas would be lost.
It is estimated that more than 350 koalas died in an out-of-control bushfire on the northwest coast of the NSW, with rescue workers turning it into a & # 39; national tragedy & # 39; to declare
Mrs. Ashton said that a team of koala hospital staff was ready to conduct a search and rescue operation after they had received everything from the NSW Rural Fire Service.
& # 39; It's going to be days of work in really extreme conditions – you're standing on a fire site in PPE equipment (personal protective equipment) with the weather really starting to heat up, & # 39; she told AAP.
The hospital released Wednesday images of koalas burned to death on the smoldering ground in Port Macquarie, and Ms. Ashton said the disaster would take its toll on volunteers.
& # 39; It's a national tragedy, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; It's very confronting. We actually arrange help for our rescuers, because you can imagine that finding those kinds of remains is pretty traumatic, especially if you work so hard to keep them alive. & # 39;
Sydneysiders woke up for another smoky day, because the haze of fires in the middle of the north of NSW causes poor air quality in the city.
The fire has reportedly burned two thirds of Crestwood, an area south of Port Macquarie known as a koala breeding ground
Smoke from forest fires at Port Macquarie and the Hunter region has been pushed down over parts of Sydney, and up to Bowral in the southern highlands.
The Ministry of the Environment predicted the air quality in Sydney on Thursday as & # 39; bad & # 39; because of particles, and people with chronic respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to avoid outdoor activities and stay indoors.
The department's air quality index showed that parts of the Lower Hunter, Upper Hunter, Central Coast and eastern Sydney as & # 39; dangerous & # 39; be assessed.
In the Sydney area, Randwick, Rozelle, Chullora, Earlwood and Macquarie Park received a dangerous assessment.
Northern winds will continue at least Thursday with the potential to bring more smoke over the affected areas, the authorities say.
& # 39; It is currently mixing with fog, but we expect that this will clear up all day. But it may not be completely clear for another 24 hours & # 39 ;, said the NSW Rural Fire Service in a statement.
The RFS said that 60 fires are currently burning in the state with 38 uninhibited, which requires the attention of 1000 firefighters and support staff.
On Sunday, however, rain is expected throughout the state and offers partial relief.
Although there are no total fire bans for Thursday, the larger areas of Hunter, Greater Sydney, Illawarra / Shoalhaven, Far South Coast, Southern Ranges and Central Ranges are very flammable.
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