HEAT AND GALES.
DUST STORM IN THE CITY.
A REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE. DESTRUCTIVE BUSH FIRES.
LOSS OF LIFE AND PROPERTY.
One of the most violent dust storms that has ever been experienced in Melbourne swept over the city list evening and came as a fitting climax to a day of almost un- precedented heat. As the temperature began to fall late in the afternoon ominous clouds gathered on the western horizon and heralded a sudden change. It came shortly after 6 o'clock, when jaded city folk were getting home to their dinner. There was a sudden sound akin to the "rushing, mighty wind" and in an instant it seemed as though the city had converted itself into a gigantic railway train, and was rush- ing with headlong speed through a tunnel.
Outside nothing could be seen for several minutes but an impenetrable grey wall, which completely shut out the light. Ve- hicles came to a standstill, and the trams, after endeavouring to maintain a snail's pace motion amid the incessant clanging of warning bells gave up the attempt, and waited till the storm should blow over.
Luckless pedestrians clutched their hats and made for the nearest portico or door- step, or clung to verandah posts, burying their faces in their hands to escape the blinding cloud of dust and pebbles. The tornado, going in a south easterly direction, swept through the metropolis in a few minutes, warning messages of its approach being sent over the telephone-wires from the places it had just left, though, as a rule, the recipients had no time to make use of the warning given them. At its highest velocity, as recorded at the Ob- servatory, it was travelling at the rate of 50 miles an hour, a shade slower than the last one experienced in Melbourne.
When the violence of the storm had somewhat abated a sort of twilight pre- vailed, in which the eddying wreaths of dust were visible, floating like snow in the atmosphere. It slowly settled down, and daylight was struggling back into the streets when another storm, as dense and blinding as the first, again enwrapt them in gloom. Windows rattled, iron sheets were torn from roofs and sent hurtling in the air, and now and then a warning crack, followed by a crash, told of some tree blown down by the gale. It passed in a few moments and a slight shower of rain fell which cleared the air, and enabled
traffic to be resumed.
Very considerable damage was done by the gale in all parts of Melbourne. Trees were blown down in the public gardens and streets, in Carlton especially, and a number of houses were unroofed by the force of the wind. In Ferrars-street, South Melbourne, the gale struck a large telegraph post, which snapped off like a carrot, and hung suspended by the wires. A large door on the premises of Messrs. Hornsby and Co., machinery importers, of Spencer-street, was blown inwards, leaving a considerable quantity of their stock ex- posed. The tramway service was delayed for several minutes on most of the lines, and delay was occasioned to the Williams- town tram owing to a block, which was caused by a number of posts falling across the line. Several cyclists were injured through colliding with fences and other obstacles, and a man was blown against a fence with such force that his arm was broken.
STATEMENT BY MR. BARACCHI.
"It is a similar experience to that which we had in January, 1896," said Mr.
Baracchi last night. "On that occasion the heat was also very great—120 in the shade at Mildura. I remember—and towards even- ing a cyclone swept the colony from end to end. This evening's ccclone moved up to Melbourne, along the southern coast of Aus- tralia, from west to east. In front of these visitors the weather is always hot, as we have had it during the last two days, and the wind is from the north. As soon as the Centre passes the wind turns to the west and the south, and sometimes it blows with great violence. To-night we got this south westerly wind very strong—about 50 miles an hour—and with it the duststorms. Later on this evening the cyclone will have reached Gippsland, at the same time passing along the Straits, and, a few hours after, it will be at Gabo. By that time we, in Mel- bourne, shall be at the rear of the disturb- ance and shall, if we are lucky, have there- after a succession of cool southerly and south-westerly breezes, with occasional showers; very squally along the coast, strong in the Straits, and a rising sea. So that I calculate, under present condi- tions that, in the course of to-morrow (Fri-
day) the weather will be fine and cool, but still cloudy, tending more to settled and pleasant conditions. Saturday and Sun- day should be moderately cool, because of the passage over Melbourne of the usual anti-cyclone, which, as a matter of course, follows a cyclone. After that it will make for warm weather again. We may look for these alternations of heat and change, and I can best illustrate the reason in this way:—The anti-cyclone brings high baro- meters and cool weather and, therefore, may be regarded as the crest of a hill. The cyclone presents the pit of the valley,
whence low barometers and heat, and then storms, come, and, as a succession of these ups and downs move bodily from west to east, we get these bursts of heat alternating with violent changes.
109.5DEG. in MELBOURNE.
All day yesterday a perfect brickfielder swept through Melbourne, and scorched all the energy out of everything living. The highest shade reading of the thermometer —109.5deg. at 4 o'clock—was the highest recorded in the month of February since 1870, when the thermometer in the shade was once at 109deg. Although it is the
record for tins summer, it failed to reach
the standing record made in January, 1862, of 111.2deg. in Melbourne. The following records were taken at the Melbourne Ob- servatory:—
Time. Shade. Sun. » am. mr. 1.8 7 10 a iii. 1)8 J 1 IS 7 11 11 111. K11 . l18 S
Noon. loi _ 150 7 . 1-45 p.nl. 1U7 IMS i pm. lim. fiiwj 2 pill. 108 J :i pm . ton 1.13 pm . HUM i inn . 10'ir. fi pill . HW
.060 .m. m
0 p lil . 57 II
* Half an hour after the wind changed.
INTERRUPTIONS TO TELEGRAPHS.
The following information is supplied by Mr. Wm. Croft, manager of the Electric Telegraph office :—
The storm and bush fires played havoc with the telegraph lines. The approach of the storm was heralded by the inter- ruption of the Kerang line at half-past 8 a.m. This was soon followed by the fall of the Hamilton and Warrnambool lines at 10, through poles being blown down at Wickliffe and Koroit respectively, the alternative route to Hamilton, being inter- rupted by poles down at Hexham. Soon after this, however, trouble came in on the coast lines to Adelaide, 12 poles being de- stroyed by fire between Portland and Mount Gambier. This was followed at noon by faults on the direct Adelaide lines, near Ballarat and Horsham, but patched up cir- cuits were used to work with Adelaide till 5 p.m., at which, however, Melbourne was completely cut off from that city. At 9 p.m., however, through the assistance of Sydney, Melbourne was enabled to work with Adelaide on a Morse circuit, but all business will be very much delayed.
There were no troubles on the North Eastern lines, where iron poles are in use, nor on the lines to Geelong, that have also iron poles.
Among the reported cases are 10 poles blown down between Digger's Rest and Sydenham, four at Braybrook Junction, three beyond Digger's Rest, twelve near Malmsbury, one between Kyneton and Carlsruhe, a quarter of a mile of line dis- mantled by a falling tree near Daylesford, eight poles down between Williamstown and Newport, four poles down and many insulators broken near Irrewarra, two poles down near Gordon. Communication with Apollo Bay, Lorne, and Cape Otway was cut off a 2 p.m. All the linies leading through Bacchus Marsh to Ballarat are down, as are also those running through Kyneton to Castlemaine and Bendigo sta-
tions north of those places. The Cobden
to Port Campbell line is wrong, and the Gippsland lines were alsoo interrupted in several places towards 8 p.m.
WARRNAMBOOL RAILWAY TRAFFIC
The fierce north wind brought up a ter- rible duststorm, and Warrnambool was en- veloped in dust, and also smoke from the bush fire. A culvert on the railway line near Allansford was destroyed within a few minutes of the afternoon train from Warr- nambool to Melbourne passing over it. A goods train, which came up a few minutes afterwards was unable to cross, and all
traffic is now blocked.
IN THIS COUNTRY.
In the country districts, however, the 1862 registration has been eclipsed. The heat there very nearly approached the phenomenal heat at Mildura, in January, 1896, when the thermometer rose to 120 degrees in the shade. Yarrawonga and several other towns recorded the highest reading—116 in the shade—and every other district whence reports were re- ceived last evening endured heat varying from 98, the lowest, up to the very high figures mentioned. Most of the reports, however, spoke of a change to cooler condi- tions, the effects of the cyclone with which the day closed being first blinding dust storms followed by thunder showers and
The following records of shade tempera- ture were received last evening:—
Deg. Deg. Avoca .... ins Koroit .. ., .. .. lui Alexandra. lbfl Korong Ville .... 110
Baddaginnie .. .. 109 lillydale . 113' "Ballarat. Hil Linton. mi llnachus Marsh .. 109 Maldon. 1«M llKiuiort. 102 MuMwroUgh . .. Ill Udialla. 103 Mildura.. ., .. .. 110 Berwick.MÎ.OMInylp.. ., .. .. 112
Beulah. lift Murchison. lie,S Birchip. 117 Murtoa ....;... 112 Boort.".. HO NaMhible. 107
Broadford.109" Nhill. 112 Castlemaine .. .. 110 Pakenham. 101 Charlton .. .. :. 1U Rushworth. 110
Clunes. 107 Sale. 103 Colac.> .. 103 Serviceton., .'. ,. loo Donald .. ,. ,. 110 Seymour ...... 108 Dunkeld. 100 Stratford., l8 Dunolly. 105 Sunbury. 110 Kcimoa.i loo Swan Hill.. .,. .. us Bldorado. 114 Tongala i.107 Kuro.l. 110 Traralgon ..... v. 102 Geelong. HO.lTrenlham.. ., i. OS
Oournoiifr ...... 109 Upper Macedon .. 97 Hamilton. 107 Waniaratta .. ., 110 Healesville. 102 Wandoiur. 105 Horsham .. ..'.. 113 Warmnmliool .. .. 09 Katamatite. 113 Woodend. OS Kerang. .J. 112 Wycheproof .... l18 Kilmore. 102 Yarrawonga .. .. 110
TONS OF FRUIT BLOWN DOWN.
' DUNOLLY, Thursday.
After one of Hie most excessively hot dnvB for years, with a strong wind, tit j o'clock the sevciest dust-storm ever ex- perienced hero swept over the town. All business and private places lind to close, and tralfic was suspended. The dust was so thick that it wns impossible to see a few
\e.irs ahead, and animals would not face it. . The storm lasted about 20 minutes, when penis of thunder were heard, and n slight shower of min fell. Considerable damage was done to fencing, houses were unroofed, and tons of fruit destroyed, the branches of the trees being broken olf.
DAMAGE AT ALLENDALE.
This afternoon a terrific windstorm mvept over the town. Chimneys soon disappeared, nnd immy roofs were'blown away. On the Seven Hills property, trees and fences were levelled, and the Allendale Presbyterian Church was almost demolished. While the storm raged business was suspended.
IN TIIE OTHER STATES.
RECORD AT ALBURY.
The heat in Albury to-day was the great- est on record, being llSdeg. in the shade. The highest previous registers were 112dcg. on three occasions during the past 12
HOUSES UNROOFED AT AA'OODEND.
A severe gale wrecked Hie verandah of Mr. G. Sproule's stoic, lifting the roofs off three sheds in his yard. One of them was left perched on top of two apple-trees. The signbonid was stripped all round the front verandah of the Macedon Hotel, und some shcetB of iron on Hld roof of the Commercial Hotel were twisted, while Mr. F. Dnnicls's private residence lind the sheet-iron stripped from the roof. The dust blew in clouds, nnd darkened tho
DETAILS OF THE OUTBREAKS
A SETTLER BURNT TO DEATH.
SEVERAL OTHERS INJURED.
Great destruction to property was done by bush fires here to day Charles Mclntosh an old resident was burnt to death, and several others were injured. The whole district was devastated, the fire travelling at a terrific rate in front of a wind which blew with hurricane force. Stock suffered severly. Besides grass, fencing outhouses, stacks, sheds corn, and sundries, the fol-
lowing peoples houses and effects were completely destroyed: - Messers. Miller, Quirk, Storer, Addinsall, McLachlan, J. McMillan and Crisp.
At Condah the Catholic Chapel and seve- ral houses were burnt. Road and railway bridges and railway sleepers have also been destroyed. The fire is still raging on all sides, and the train from Portland is un- able to proceed further owing to the cul-
verts being burnt. The Casterton train is now five hours late.
URI Al DLLRP.RI.
A destructivo bush hie waB laging last night across the counti) from the Wcl ribee to Deer park It broke out vcitei
dnv morning and, fanned bv n north wind, spic.d ltipidlv, and passed over hu em I. milcB of toiinti), its fiontage extending ovti foiirtten miles, while its depth was about t gilt milt» A gentleman who saw it fioiu tht train last evening described tilt .ptctarle a . magnltittiit, and rciclii
bluig a huge illuuuii ited eil) Hit whole oí the countrv between the Weinbec on one .ide, mil Rotkbmk mid Hiavbtool on the othei, was iiblu.t and settlers vveie ftillv occupied ve.ttrdav ni getting tin ii slock on lo the loads Man) of them will be heav) losers
SENSATIONS AT A RACE MEETING.
For the second day of the Ararat Turf Club races the weather was hot and un-
pleasant. A strong north wind was blow- ing, and this fact told upon the attendance. The day was full of exciting incidents. Earlv in the afternoon a bush fire started on the course, and, sweeping across the new plantation, destroyed the shrubs, and burnt some of the horses. The animals were got away amidst tremendous excite- ment. The fire, notwithstanding the many workers, was carried away by the high wind towards Quamby, and the judge (Mr E. H. Austin), seeing his homestead threat- ened, drove off in haste. The fire de- stroyed Mr Fitzgerald's haystacks, but Mr. Canty's were saved, and a change of wind with rain stopped its progress.
About 5 o'clock a terrific hurricane blew a heavy cab being blown over, and some iron from the roof of the grand-stand torn off. The ladies in terror abandoned the stand, and sought shelter in the rooms,
I FIRE TR UTI <* IWFNTY MILES AN
K0R0I1, 1 burs I iv
\ fue, vvhiih Is ícpoited to hive stilted ni Ditutnoic Stntuin Unveiling; at Hie late of«20 mile« an bom with ii strong »with wind behind it, swept full»,half of Bovd s lui ioho Station, the hnuioHtiiid being saved with dilllciiltv Iho flic continued in tho diicction of Pott 1 mr» U I o (link the wind «luiugcd to thu west und bv half past 1 the town wits in tluikness fioin the «mule nnd dust At larlcj« fin in, K11
lut ney, while the men were awij at ibiinei, a huge stack of rvc grass was dcstro}id by lire, mid Mr I'ii Unison s thrashing mitchina was blunt Hie wind »vn« so stiong time havsttitks wea blown nil over the place, font is and ticis blown down, nnd sheds uti in led \ thundrrstoiin with linn lol loneil, (Kid the wind subsided townrds omi
HIL SYDNEY 1 \PRLSS J,N\ FLOPED A R MLAVAA'-CVRRIACP PIC I URE
III« Svdnov e\pr«ss lunn tonight lind to tun thiouc.li a litre,! ntin of hunting mun tiv I «lui« n \viiul mil 1 ingwool Iho lui i Min le I lo the fi uti n (illili s dt of ti ii luv hu in I lb ti nu in hld Hi nejí lb h iv v si" 1« Hie | «it men wuo tie it«d to in ixicplioimll) cloie view
*f a grand and terrible scene, -where the hre hnd swept along a few hours before The bunrrng trunks stood for miles, like 1ombstones of fire in ^vasfc cemetery, and further ahead the flames, as they rushed onwird, cime unpleasantly cjose to the ti oin. Inside the railway fences m places uurnrag bushes flared up a few feet from the carrnge windows Approaching Long -wood spectral figures could be discerned woiking like demons in tlieir efforts to save the station buddings md township
ANOTHER BIA CK THURSDAY AT
An extensive bush fire riged with great furj to-day from about Ham, ind is still destroying grass, cattle, and horses, and it as feared Luman Ines have been lost Several families are totilly ruined and
homeless Such a day has never been seen j here since Black Thursdij
MINING PLANTS IN JEOPAHDY.
At a lite hour tonight word was re- ceded here that serious bush fires vere nging in the Berringa district, and fears «ire entertiincd in regird to the safety of the planta of the Birthday and Jubilee mining companies Severn, -visitors to the Pitfield mines -who came through by road tonight fita to that the alarm whistle at the Birthdaj mine "was sounded continu ously for upwards of an hour during the afternoon, ind that it had been found ne cessary to bring all the men up from be low to prepire for any emergency At se\era! points the road was impassable for some time owing to the fires, and several bridges were damaged, If not altogether de strojed, by the flames A number of cot tiges were destroyed it Italian Gull), and several families were obbged to encimp on
.» SERIOUS FIRES NEAR HAMILTON
H;.milton ia mii-rounded by bush Area, anti til» streets arc enveloped in smoke and dust 1 or the lost two days flrès have been sleeping over the gra7ii_g arena in the Coleraine district, notably lhc Menno Downs and Struan estates, where they de- stroyed thousands of acres of grass and ndles of fencing From tbcro the> spread to Casterton, and thence to Heywood, and in another direction, to wards Branxholme A Are also passed over Mel
ville (orcst, extending to the Wannon Today was cxtrcmei} hot, with a strong northerly wind blowing, bringing with it duststorms such as few June ever experienced in this neighbourhood Tire3 sprang up in every direction, and being fanned hy the hot wind, they spread with amarlng rapidity, those on tlio northern und north western side of the town coming dangerously close, and causing some excitement amongst the citizens At 3 o clock news readied town that a dwelling house was burning about three miles from town The Arc bell was rung and several dra> loads of members of the fire brigade with other helpers drove out and the} aro reported to lune succeeded in saving the building The difficulty was much increased bj the terrible duststornui, and the dense smoke from tlio fires which prcvpntcd persons from seeing mun) cartis ahead, and many lost their wa), some of them having' very narrow escapes The train leav nie Hamilton at 10 this morning for Fortland liad for several miles, to pass between fire*} on getting near Branxholme, the countrj between that place ind Bisset station l>e_ng all on fire The llumtt ton Priscrving Company s buildings with its con tents are reported to have been destroyed The Morgiaiu, Bocliara, and Monivacc estates lune been swept by the fire and several small holdings in boutli Hamilton hare been devastated and a num bcr of luvstucks hn\e been destrojed On the cistern side of Hamilton a fire swept over Tarring ton Instate and a number of farmers from there to Coxton and \ utcham have suffered So far no loss of stock has Iwen reported, but the dama^ done to grass, fencing, and other property ia immense
DESTRUCTION NKAIt ROKEWOOD
A disastrous hush fire broke out to the Bouth west of Scandale* and wis driven with alarming rapidity by a high wind towards Berringa and Moonlight Tlie country being hilly and mostly covered with thick forest growth the flames spread to and surrounded the Jubilee minc and the plant was in serious danger of being destrojed \\ith the heat and high wind combined it was impossible to resist the flumes, and at Italian Cully it is now reported that seven houses were destroyed This afternoon the road traffic between Scarsdale and B cr ntl ga was interrupted hy the fire Trees were blown down and a great deal* of fencing destrojed
A serious accident occurred to a lad the «»on of Mr Hall of Piggoreet While he wis out driving the horse was startled by the fiamos and bolted the a chide 1-cing overturned and smashed The extent of the bo} B injuries has not been ascertained
A TOWNSHIP IN JEOPARDY
Bush fires are raging in the district doing con uderable damage In the forenoon an urgent ap ï»cal for assistancefrom the residents of Allansford caine to WurrnamfiooT as that township was thrca tened with destruction Fifteen men were at onee driven to the scene of the fire, ind bv great oxer lion they sa\ed tlio township though five houses on the outskirts were destrojed, including one he longing to Mr V M Govern and another, the property of Mr II W Hortic The fire burnt right through the dairying districts of Nepunga and Caringal into the forest country
Late on Wednesday afternoon a huge bush fire commenced on Bald Hills, the property of Mr Robert Black and Mrs Deschamps about one mile out of Lilydale. The hills being thickly timbered and scrubby, the fire made great headway, and burned fiercely. The wind blowing from the north, in the direction of Lilydale caused some alarm for the safety of the township, as the fire had traversed over the hills on the near side to the town. A number of people went out in the evening and were some hours engaged in stopping the course
of the fire towards the town.
To-day the fire commenced afresh, and this afternoon a large number of men were called out, as the fire had taken a different course, proceeding in a southerly direction It crossed the Warburton road about three-quarters of a mile out of Lily
dale and into Mr Samuel Pither's paddock, and that gentleman's house was greatly endangered. After a few hours hard work the fire was checked and the house got out of danger. A large quantity of fencing and timber was destroyed. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon a fire commenced at the Six mile Camp on the Lilydale to Warburton railway line, and burned a quantity of sleepers.
CAPTAIN HAM A SUFFFRER
A serious outbreak of fire occurred on the W arm da 1-state occupied by Captain D J Ham, who ih it present serving in South Africa. It was caused ' by onie person carelessly leaving a tree burning liter taking i swarm of bees A strong north wind noon took the fire out of all control and It spread with greit rapidit} towards the house wlüch was í ni} just saved after great exertions by the nd(_h hours It is estimated that hundreds of acres of e.ra1« and miles of fendng have been destro}ed as it started about 10 a in and burnt fiercely until late it night before tlie danger was over A lot of pheep wert suffocated, it was impossible to rescue
TTMETY CnAMïï Or WIND
HOIÏSI MIT* GALLOP IOR THEIR SAVER
V gale spring up this evening tit Longwood carn inc. o solid wall of fire towards the town The residents lia&tily gathered their valuables and plated them in buggies ready to drive away A fortunite change of wind at an opportune moment enabled the firefle,liters to get control and the Haines went on each side of the township The fire was within 100 jards of the mitwiv sutton md thn I uroa firemen had a bul rant and hose In post
lion to tr} and save the building but their services w.rc fortunately not required The fire has split into two portions one going towards l^ranjip and the other to Killeen Man} miles of f,nuw land has 11 cn devastated and man} u irrow escapes from death hive been experienced in some cases horse men hu.Jug to gallop across country for their
I IIT1I CONTINGENT TO THF RCSCUI
LANGWARRIN CAMP Thursday
lins iflernoon a bush fire broke out in what is kn t\ n in the local!tj as Starvation Paddock,
which in to the cist of the cimp ind the railwa} line Hie fire quick.} spread and it one time it ] ked ns though the railwa} station wis lu danger md about WO men were hurried from the camp to I cip the fire In check Asnistcd b} the hcav} wind the fire quickly spread and reached the railwa} fdires n considerable portion of which was de stroved flic fire reaches from the Langwarrin an] I rntil.eton road toward. 1 rnnkston for about a mile nn 1 a half but it is not likely to eros» the ni ¡lu h j line On the west of the camp there ia another fire ragiiu, and also on the north, but at some dis tance lhc one west is travelling towards the eneampment l,round
PIONFIRS* PROFU-TH-S BURNT
YI A rhursdi}
A tremendous bu.h flic broke out in a paddock alrout three miles to the west of the town and dded bv n Btrong wind swept through some thousands < f acres of good dojrj lund It has covend an immense aron, and a larc,e quantity of fencing has been destro}cd and in several cases homesteads were in imminent danger A large number of the landowners were awa. from their holdings when the fire broke out at a picnic held
In ^ea to comm ni) orate the celebration of the
. A PALL 01 SMOhr
* . GASTM MAINE, Thumb}
\ bush flro'of great magnitude ia raging between I rverUown and rurodalc, and has devastated miles
mid miles of »»untn, principally Crown lands ' The country is thieltfy timbered in that locality, ond tho fire spread with great rapidity I rout Castlemaine column upon column of dense smoke rovers the south ona tern sk} The Ure is now within strll Ing distance of Irjcrstown, und all the available men in tint town have turned out to render oiwistanee Already several settlers havo l>ccn burnt out Great fears aro entertained that the mining plants in the neighbourhood of I oerstown will 1>o burnt, as they aro all lu tim lwrcd country It is one of tlie largest fires that has taken place In this district for many years but fortunately Its progress so far has been mainly confined to Government land I
Qome severe losses have Ihtii sustained by settlers on 1 oin if on s Octk bj tho recurrí nee of a bush fire within the last few dnys which started on Spring Creek about a fortnight ago Mr P Milroy Is so fur tlie greatest sufferer, having his house, outbuildings and nearly the whole of tlio products of his farm grown during tlio past year, together with many pigs and poultry destroyed Mr W Kent whoso house waB burned down last year lotit his burn and contents, as well as a number of sheep and one hoi he Other Mifferers from loss of grass and f< nctng are Mi win Whiting M Gulgau Wilson 1 lliott louey 11 Urn John win Kell} Leckie and Maker bro thors llie (lie has extended for i dlstnnec of in miles bj about six miles In hnadth d strijiiiL, UioupukI. of litres of gnwi and mil.h of fin Iijl, It is n w 1i .vcllim, in the dlrtcthn of Doon and although scores of men ar attempting to arrest its pro grcfii their efforts arc futile. A chango of wind will bring the fire down tho valleys and into the
ttrwniliip A big Uro has als«, broken out on the Black Rang?
Bush and grass fires are ngine, at different points around Ballarat, more particularly towards uunin
A very large busli (Ire lias been burning; for the last two days It started somewhere between "<ecdy and Strath Creek and 1 limed on toward» Mr Fffibcs nnd Mr Lade s propcrtj at blrath Creek 3\> «lav with the chance of wind It Is making o-rr the Plentj Ranges to the Comet Saw mills and Wandong About 2 000 acres of Crown lands, mostly heavily timbered have been
B UJDAtHVME Thursday
A large fire n iew miles south west ot the town has already devastated several miles oí country and is coming, in this direction
Amid the violence of the gale this afternoon a gross lire winch had broken out in Melville forest was carried through the Wilderness, Too lang Brung Bninglc and Sprlngsvvood cslaics lrurning a great face of Hie country but other thin grass little damage was done I armera and others turned out to a man but It was absolutely beyond control and travelled towards tlic Caven dish and Wannon Rivers
A Ure broke out on Mr Schlucss propcrtj at Barnawartha on Thursday afternoon and but for the assistance rendered hy a large number of people *lio were attending the creamery meet
ing serious loss must have resulted A quantity of fencing was desire; ed and the lire was only checked by coming into contact with Mr C Heans vineyard, In which i number ol vines were scorched Other Arcs aro burning on the Indigo Creek and in the direction ol Wodonga
CAMP» "DOWN Thursday
On Tuesday evening a fire broke out on the Leslie Manor Fstate jnd spread to the W est Bank látate adjoining The latencas of the hour enabled the station 1 and» to check what would otherwise have developed into a very serious grass lire About 100 aeres of grass was destroyed This is the third (Ire Mr Maconachic lias had on West Bank since Christmas.
Bush (1res raging all round here and a thunder storm threatening
Fires are raging in all directions and the at mospherc is laden with smoke The grass, fenc ing Ac are liurnlni, between Longwood and I uroa, along tho Strathbogie Ranges towards Shcan a Creek at Karramomus and other places.
The heat to _j was intensified by bush Arcs northward and westward dense smoke at times enveloping the township A Blight fall of rain at half past Opm fortunately checked the grass lires and no apprehension is now felt
Bush (1res ore raging at Mount Flmya towards Moorooduc and between Carrum and Aspendale One has also broken out between Langwarrin North and the old township
Bush (ires are raging in various directions and the town is enveloped in smoke A tremendous Ure is raging to the east of Kilmore In the mountains and to night the whole sky in that direction is illuminated with the reflection of the conflagration The wind veered round in the even ing bringing clouds of dense smoke over the town and a few drops of rain fell Another fire broke out in the township of Pyalong tills after
noon and the old White Hart ITotcl had a narrow escape from destruction
MAT DON Thursday
Tlie grass took fire on Tuesday evening near the liound paddock at Barrlnghup Last Tartu nateiy there was no wind and with the help of i number of willing workers the fire was confined to about ¿0 acres In the Rev Mr Stephens paddock
A bush lire in Mr Bell s piddock at Cuddy's Flat, destroyed u considerable amount ot fenc Ing _c
Fires are raging all round the district At Mr J \ oraton s Kobylioyn Station nothing but rain can extinguish the flames. Another outbreak oc currcd close to the town in Mr John Guilds house paddocl at Whitehead s Creek to-day A lot of grass was consumed
A number of bush (1res have been burning around the town this week Yesterday n serious Ure broke out at \ nanyarra in the bush and burnt a large quantity of fencing and grass on the property of Mr J Jarry The Ure was ex tiniriiislied about 20 jurds from the house by a number of civilians and nelghboum, thus saving
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN OUTBREAK
The township of Mount Pleasant has dur intj Hie day very narrowly escaped from being swept by an immense bush lire Fanned bj a favouring wind, the flames gradually swept round the whole of the surrounding countrj, doing immense dam ige to grass and fencing, and destroying hundreds of valuable sheep Ever}body tinned out to fight the flames The countrj suirounding the township, which waa j es terday cov cred vn th w iving grass, now pre scuts a most desolat«; appearance
THE NLSr COAbT Or TASATANIA
Ali Wm Croft, manage« of the Llectnc Telegraph Oihce, forwatds the following
Hobart, Tasmania, advises communica tion with the west coast stations baa been totallj interrupted smce Opm, caused by
bush flies '