News National Fast-approaching bushfire threatens homes in Western Australia
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Fast-approaching bushfire threatens homes in Western Australia

Firefighters continue to battle to contain bushfires across Australia. Photo: Getty
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Residents in parts of Western Australia have been urged to evacuate due to a fast-approaching bushfire.

On Thursday morning, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) issued an emergency warning for people in the Shire of Murray, south of Perth.

People in the area are being told to act immediately to survive after the fire started in the eastern part of Nambeelup.

It’s threatening lives and homes in the area bounded by the proposed Readheads Road, Yangedi Road, Lakes Road and Nambeelup Road.

Residents in these areas have been warned they are in danger and need to leave if the way is clear.

If they are unable to leave, they must prepare to shelter in their home.

Meanwhile, by late Wednesday night, more than 160 bush and grass fires were burning across NSW after about 100 fresh blazes ignited in a 24-hour period.

There were more than 2200 personnel in the field working to slow the progress of the blazes.

An aerial view of the bushfire burns out of control in the Richmond Valley, of New South Wales. Photo: Getty
Fire crews are actively working to control this large number of fires which were sparked by lightning in Sydney, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

While there are no total fire bans in place for Thursday, the Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, Northern Slopes and North Western fire regions will be under “very high” fire danger rating, as will the ACT.

Sydney’s air quality is forecast to be “poor” on Thursday due to particles.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment issued a warning: “Unhealthy for sensitive people, and could cause symptoms, especially in people with heart or lung disease.”

In Victoria, a 33-year-old man was charged with lighting several spot fires in the far south of NSW.

He was on Wednesday seen allegedly lighting the fires in bushland near Scrubby Creek in Narrabarba, south of Eden.

He has been charged with intentionally causing a fire and refused bail to appear at Batemans Bay Local Court on Thursday.

The incident comes a day after a teen Rural Fire Service volunteer faced court in southern NSW for allegedly lighting seven fires in the Bega Valley area.

Blake William Banner, 19, allegedly lit a fire on Tuesday afternoon next to the Bega river, left the area and returned to fight the fire for the RFS.

He was arrested at a Tarraganda fire shed within two hours of the fire.

Banner was charged with causing the fire as well as six others since October 17, and appeared before Bega Local Court on Wednesday. He was granted conditional bail to return to the court on December 17.

The RFS said it had immediately stood down the 19-year-old and had a “zero tolerance” approach to arson.

The world is nearing its tipping points

The fires which are responsible for emitting carbon dioxide could push the planet into a state that threatens human civilisation, according to a new commentary by a group of seven leading scientists.

Their paper published by scientific journal Nature warns that the globe is nearing nine major tipping points.

These include coral die-offs in the Great Barrier Reef, the extensive loss of Arctic sea ice and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, the thawing of permafrost, and the destruction of boreal forests in high-altitude areas and the Amazon rainforest.

“As soon as one or two climate dominoes are knocked over, they push Earth towards others,” says ANU climate expert Will Steffen, one of the authors.

“We fear that it may become impossible to stop the whole row of dominoes from tumbling over, forming a cascade that could threaten the existence of human civilisations.”

He says each of these tipping points could trigger massive and uncontrollable releases of carbon into the atmosphere from where it had previously been stored on Earth.

That, in turn, would accelerate the heating and further destabilisation of other ice sheets.

-with AAP