Almost 1,600 homes destroyed in Australian bushfires

By Jessica Tyson

The NSW Rural Fire Service has announced that almost 1,600 homes have been destroyed by bush fires in Australia so far this 2019-20 season.

The fire service says 672 of the 1,588 homes destroyed have been lost since the start of January alone, and the figure is likely to increase.

“Building impact assessment teams continue making their way through fire-affected areas, to assess the damage to properties,” the fire service said in a statement today.

“Working through these areas will take time due to limited access on isolated roads and villages.”

The fire service has succeeded in bringing comfort to some building and home owners though.

More than 4,000 buildings have been saved since 1 January by the work of firefighters and recovery staff.

In total, 10,628 homes and 20,000 buildings have been kept safe so far this season. 

This morning there were 130 fires still burning across NSW, although the fire service said they currently presented "no immediate danger”.

Rain in some locations late yesterday, means firefighters will use the improved conditions to continue work on strengthening containment lines today, including backburning operations where conditions allow.

The fire service says, “While our crews work to slow the spread of fire, use this time as well to prepare your property and discuss your bush fire survival plan with your family, ahead of forecast worsening conditions this Friday.”

People in Wentworth Falls, Bullaburra, Lawson and Hazelbrook in the Blue Mountains area west of Sydney are being encouraged to attend community meetings for more information on the fire.

“People in the area will see increased fire activity and firefighter presence while this essential work occurs.”

Around 2,000 firefighters are working to protect properties and contain fires across NSW.