Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shattered Margaret River faces third day of fire hell: Australia

Margaret River today hopes that easing weather conditions will give firefighters the chance to contain the raging bushfire that has forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes and damaged or destroyed at least 34 properties.

About 150 firefighters battled the blaze overnight, assisted by an easing of the winds that helped push it across the Margaret River.

An emergency warning remains for the Margaret River region.

Firefighters heading out for the third day say they are exhausted but optimistic.

Singleton volunteer firefighter Lawrie Drage was one of six firefighters who sheltered with 60 people on the beach at Gnarabup yesterday and is back today.

Mr Drage said he was trying to keep people calm as a sheet of flames leapt over the area.

"The fire went right over the top of us it's pretty scary," he said.

"Today we don't know what is going to happen." more