News / Asia

Australia Reports 2nd Wildfire Death

A helicopter drops water on bush land in Faulcombridge, 85 kilometers (53 miles) west of Sydney, Australia, Oct. 24, 2013.
A helicopter drops water on bush land in Faulcombridge, 85 kilometers (53 miles) west of Sydney, Australia, Oct. 24, 2013.
VOA News
Australian officials say a second person has died battling the country's wildfires.

A plane crashed Thursday while attempting to drop water on a fire near Ulladulla, south of Sydney, killing the pilot.  He was the lone occupant on board.

Authorities say crews are having a difficult time reaching the crash because of the mountainous terrain.

Another person died last week, trying to save his house from the fires that have destroyed or damaged more than 200 houses.

Also Thursday, fire officials are defending Australia's military after investigators revealed a live ordnance exercise set off the largest of the wildfires.

The fire service commissioner said the military had no intention to start a fire.  No one was hurt in last week's blaze.

Meantime, fire officials have lifted emergency warnings in fire-ravaged New South Wales although about a third of the fires are not contained.

  • Firefighters spray foam on smoldering bush to help reduce reflash fires after a blaze swept through Faulconbridge, west of Sydney, Oct. 24, 2013.
  • Rural Fire Service frefighters take a break after trying to extinguish a fire approaching homes near the Blue Mountains suburb of Faulconbridge, west of Sydney, Oct. 24, 2013.
  • Firefighters control flames during hazard reduction in Bilpin, Australia, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • A female Rural Fire Service firefighter walks through a burnt area after trying to extinguish a small fire approaching homes near the Blue Mountains suburb of Blackheath, west of Sydney, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • Jennifer Schweinsberg and her son David walk around the back yard of their destroyed family home in Sunny Ridge Drive in Winmaleem, near Sydney, Oct. 22, 2013.
  • A firefighter tries to control flames near houses in Bilpin, west of Sydney, Oct. 22, 2013.
  • A firefighter watches as smoke covers a road in Bilpin, west of Sydney, Oct. 22, 2013.
  • Local resident Alan Seaman looks inside a safe in the remains of his home that was destroyed by a fire in the Blue Mountains suburb of Winmalee, west of Sydney, Oct. 21, 2013.
  • Houses can be seen behind a burnt-out car and bicycle after a fire destroyed them in the Blue Mountains suburb of Winmalee, west of Sydney, Oct. 21, 2013.
  • In this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, smoke rises from a fire near Lithgow, west of Sydney, Oct. 17, 2013.

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