With raging wildfires destroying areas in Australia, both residents and people who have come for a vacation in a part of the state of Victoria were asked to leave amid rising concerns of hazardous conditions. According to reports, officials said that due to soaring temperatures of over 40 degrees, strong winds and storms on December 30 would threaten the safety of everyone.
In a public address, State Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp, stated that both vacationers and residents living in the East Gippsland region to leave by the morning of December 30. Crisp further added that keeping in mind the current conditions and the ones about to prevail on December 30, it was best for people to leave, in order to ensure their safety. He asked people to leave East Gippsland from that particular area located east of Bairnsdale.
On December 29, a music festival was also shelved due to extreme weather conditions. According to reports, the event was cancelled after due consultation with local and regional fire authorities. The cancelled event was supposed to run until December 31st and 9,000 people were already camping on the site of the music festival when the event organisers made the announcement.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made an announcement that the government would give the necessary compensation to all the volunteer firefighters in New South Wales (NSW). According to reports, Morrison said that payments up to 6,000 Australian dollars will be given to all those who spent more than a period of 10 days fighting the bushfires this season.
Morrison in a statement said that he was aware of the fact that firefighters were tacking wildfires in tough conditions especially in regional and rural areas. He further added that the intensity of the wildfires this season has resulted in more than what volunteer firefighters normally do in a fire season. He also said that all the government employees volunteering will receive additional paid leave.
According to reports, a different set of rules apply across Australian states and people who volunteer directly talk to their employers for their time off. The raging wildfires have claimed more than 9.9 million acres of land in about five states since the month of September with additional reports suggesting that eight people have also lost their lives in the fires.