Published On: Fri, Jan 24th, 2020

Australia fires MAPPED: Horror as nearly 100 bushfires still ravage NSW and Victoria | World | News

A scattering of infernos can be seen on the latest map from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service site, giving the latest devastating update as flames destroy the two Australian states. The fire service’s recent update was last night, when 73 blazes had been reported. They said: “At midnight, there are 73 bush and grass fires burning across NSW with 30 not yet contained.

“No fires are at emergency warning. On the South Coast 3 remain at Watch and Act due to the continuing threat.

“Conditions are expected to ease tomorrow following a cool change. #nswrfs.”

It comes as three Americans on board a water bomber yesterday died after their plane crashed in Australia while fighting wildfires.

The Canadian-owned C-130 Hercules air tanker went down in the country’s alpine region, south of Canberra, on Thursday, killing every crew members, authorities said.

Shane Fitzsimmons, Rural Fire Services Commissioner for New South Wales, said all three victims were US residents and investigators did not immediately know why the plane crashed as it was carrying a load of fire retardant.

He said: “Tragically, there appears to be no survivors as a result of the crash down in the Snowy Monaro area.”

Mr Fitzsimmons said the plane “impacted heavily with the ground and initial reports are that there was a large fireball associated with the impact of the plane as it hit the ground”

He added: “There is no indication at this stage of what’s caused the accident.”

READ NOW: Australia fires: How long before Australia recovers from bushfires? [NEWS]

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was sending a team of investigators to the crash site to collect evidence.

They said recorded data would be analysed and a team would also review weather conditions and interview any witnesses.

It said a preliminary report would be released in about 30 days.

However, it said if a critical safety issue was identified during the course of the investigation it would immediately notify the relevant stakeholders.

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