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26 Dec 2019 | 08:50 AM UTC

New Caledonia: Ongoing fires in Païta and Pic des Morts; extreme fire warnings for central and southern areas Dec. 26

Weather Service issues extremely dangerous fire warnings for central and southern regions on December 26; strong wind and associated disruptions expected

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transportation
NCL

Event

Wildfires broke out in Païta at around 13:30 (local time) and Pic des Morts at around 17:00 on Thursday, December 26. Firefighters have been deployed in the areas to try to control the blaze. Earlier in the day, local authorities issued a wildfire alert for the affected areas.

An extreme wildfire alert has also been issued for Boulouparis, Thio, La Foa, Moindou, and Bourail, while a very-high fire-alert has been issued in l'Ile des Pins, Yaté, Mont-Dore, Nouméa, Dumbéa, Lifou, Canala, Sarraméa, Farino, Kouaoua, Houailou, Poya, Pouembout, and Montagne des Sources.

Further spread of the fire is possible in the coming hours and days due to strong winds expected across the central and southern parts of the country.

Transportation, power, and communication disruptions are possible in the affected areas in the immediate term.

Advice

Individuals in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of warnings and weather alerts, anticipate transportation and power disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, notably evacuation orders. As high temperatures are expected in the near-term, individuals are also advised to remain hydrated and minimize outdoor activities.