With Australia still being plagued by raging wildfires, the Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers Ltd on January 29 reportedly suspended trading in its shares. According to international media reports, the company said that an estimated 90 per cent of its trees are no longer productive due to the bushfires.
The company has further also provided a preliminary assessment of the severity of damage and said that only five per cent of its crop has not been fire-affected, while a further five per cent has also experienced predominantly ground fire causing minor canopy damage.
Kangaroo Island is a popular holiday spot in south Australia where agriculture and tourism are the major industries. The island is also known for Eucalyptus globulus which is the main species grown by the company on the Island. However, the company in a recent statement said that the remaining 90 per cent of the land has suffered significant canopy fire, which was severe in 35% of the estate and complete to the point of total defoliation in 55% of the estate.
Australia has been plagued by wildfires for months now which has killed approximately 33 people and has already left thousands of people homeless and thousands of others had to also evacuate repeatedly. The blazes have also been followed by extreme weather including intense storms that have battered parts of Australia with giant hail, flood and landslides.
On January 28, fire officials further warned communities in hard-hit-eastern states to strengthen fire defence. According to international media reports, the soaring temperatures and winds are yet again set to return and is threatening to reignite some blazes and also start fresh ones. However, firefighters have used several days of cooler, damper weather across to try and gain control of more than 100 blazes before the weather turns.
The RFS has further reportedly warned that people should clear their properties of any flammable vegetation and any broken roof tiles should also be repaired to protect houses from airborne embers. Earlier this week, the NSWRFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons also said that firefighters were on 'heightened levels of alert'. While speaking to an international media outlet, Fitzsimmons said there is every potential for flare-ups and new ignitions to come out of some of the fire grounds.
(with inputs from agencies)