FRASER ISLAND, Australia— A massive bushfire quickly spread throughout scenic Frasier Island, off Australia’s eastern coast, on Nov. 17.

The island, a World Heritage site, is the biggest sand island in the world, roughly 76 miles in length. Bushfires are a natural part of the Australian landscape, as many native plants are fire-prone.

Multiple firefighting aircraft have been operating in the area during the past two days, including a Large Air Tanker (LAT), a specialized tanker, used to control the blaze and help prevent the fire from advancing.

Video posted on Facebook by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) shows a massive area burning and lifting columns of smoke.
Campers on the island were ordered to evacuate the popular site. Residents nearby have been warned of smoke, but emergency services say it is no longer life-threatening.

At present, there are no reports of victims or serious damage. The fire is still being controlled.

The worst bushfires in Australia in two centuries occurred in 1851, 1939, 1983, 2009, and now 2019-20, known in the country as Black Summer. This year’s fires are estimated to cost $73 billion in damages.

(Edited by Fern Siegel and Matthew Hall)

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