Catastrophic bush fires close to I’m A Celebrity jungle camp

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Devastating bush fire which have killed three people and left thousands homeless could also threaten TV series I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.

The fires are raging across parts of Australia and at their nearest are just six miles from the site where the annual celebrity game show is filmed.

More than 100 fires are currently burning in Queensland and New South Wales, according to,  The Mirror .

The nearest fires to the I’m A Celebrity jungle site are just six miles away at Queensland’s Lamington National Park.

Producers of reality show – due to start on Saturday – say they are in “constant contact” with the fire service in Australia and are closely monitoring the situation.

Australia’s most populous state has declared a fire emergency on Monday with worsening conditions expected from wildfires that have claimed more than 150 homes.

New South Wales (NSW) state emergency services minister David Elliott said residents were facing what “could be the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen”.

Fires in the state’s north-east have razed more than 850,000 hectares (3,300 square miles) of forest and farmland since Friday.

 

Fire conditions are forecast to be worse on Tuesday than they were at the peak of the current fire emergency on Friday.

“The catastrophic weather conditions mean that things can change very quickly,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

“You might think you’re OK and a few minutes later you won’t be. Please heed all the messages you receive. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is not the day to be complacent,” she added.

Catastrophic fire danger has been declared for Sydney and the Hunter Valley region to the north on Tuesday with severe and extreme danger across vast parts of the rest of the state.

“Catastrophic is off the conventional scale,” Rural Fire Service (RFS) commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

The weeklong declaration of a state of emergency gives the RFS sweeping powers to direct any government agency to conduct or refrain from conducting any of its functions.

 

It can order the immediate shutdown of essential utilities including gas and electricity in fire-declared areas and can close roads and take possession of any property during an emergency response.

The annual Australian fire season, which peaks during the Southern Hemisphere summer, has started early after an unusually warm and dry winter.

The deputy mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry recently spoke about the hot weather in the area of Murwillumbah, where the I’m A Celeb show is based in the North East of NSW close to its border with Queensland.

She said: “Our main concern for the area is bush fires. It has been very hot and dry here in the past months and although this is a rain forest area, bush fires are now an issue we need to seriously think about. It’s bad.”

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the military could be called upon to support the 1,300 firefighters working in the two states.

Firefighters are desperately trying to control devastating bushfires across New South Wales before a ‘danger day’ of weather forecast for Tuesday forcing the Rural Fire Service to issue the dire warning that “lives will be at risk”.

Currently there are dozens of crew on the I’m A Celebrity site and they also use members of the public for run throughs of the programme in camp to test cameras, with celebrity hosts Ant and Dec also visiting set regularly.

The celebrity contestants will be in camp by the weekend and at this stage it is not known exactly how long the threat of bush fires in the area remains.

There have been fires closeby to the site in recent days at Lamington National Park, around 10 kilometres away, and yesterday a fire 2,200 hectares in size and “out of control” was raging at Mount Nardi National Park around 20 kilometres away.

An ITV Spokesman told the Mirror: “We are in constant contact with the NSW fire brigade and are closely monitoring the situation.  We currently have no cause for concern.

 

“The health and safety of all our production crew and celebrities are of the utmost importance.”



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