Wildfires eat up several homes in New Zealand


This handout satellite image taken and released by Maxar Technologies on September 14, 2020 shows the August Complex wildfire, burning to the west of Chico, California, to the north of Big Signal Peak. 

Authorities have announced on Monday that wildfires have eaten up about 50 homes in New Zealand. They further said it is was a miracle that not a single soul was hurt in a remote South Island village.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, the firestorm got ignited in a mountain forest and brushed off the village of Lake Ohau, while residents took to their heels for survival.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) mentioned that the unpredictable winds caused a setback in fighting off the fire and by Monday afternoon, it had cleared about 4,600 hectares of land.

Waitaki District mayor Gary Kircher said the wildfire caused widespread devastation in the tiny Lake Ohau community.

Of the 60 or 70 houses, we believe that the majority have gone,” he told Radio New Zealand.

The reality is that it’s a minor miracle no one has been harmed. If it had been another 15-20 minutes it would have been a very different story.”

Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare explained that he witnessed burnt cars and destroyed homes.

The term I’ve heard used to describe it is a war zone,” he told reporters.

It’s clear to me that there’s no rhyme or reason when it comes to fire, one house is affected, the neighbour isn’t… you can feel a sense of loss.”

However, FENZ said there has been attempts to contain the flames with the help of 11 helicopters and eight fire crews.

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