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Bush Fires in Australia

September 10, 2013

IFSA-Butler is closely monitoring the recent outbreak of bush fires in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). Currently there are four major fires located at least 30 miles outside of Sydney, all of which have been downgraded from “emergency” to “watch and act” by the NSW Rural Fire Service. Cooling temperatures and the possibility of rain in the next few days is expected to help reduce the number and intensity of all fires currently burning in NSW’s rural areas. While IFSA-Butler students are not at risk, reports indicate that smoke from the fires can be smelled in Sydney and outlying areas.

With the increase in temperature and decrease of precipitation during Australia’s spring and summer months (September to February), bush fires in rural areas of NSW are common. During the mandatory IFSA-Butler orientation at the beginning of the semester, fire safety is discussed in length with all students. When students are planning a trip to the Australian bush for hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities, they are advised to check first with the weather service as well as with the NSW Rural Fire Services for current weather conditions, fire notifications and fire bans. Additionally, all students are to complete an online Travel Registration Form which notifies our Australia resident staff of a students’ trip details. Students may also contact our Australia resident staff with questions and concerns at any time.

We will continue to monitor this situation throughout Australia’s summer months and provide any relevant updates as needed. Feel free to contact our Indianapolis office if you have any questions and concerns. For further information, please see the following resources:

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24028790

NSW Rural Fire Services: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/dsp_content.cfm?CAT_ID=1109

Australian Government: http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/austn-weather-and-the-seasons

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