Wildfires raze dozens of homes in New Zealand

Wildfires have destroyed up to 50 homes in New Zealand, authorities announced Monday, saying it was a miracle no one was hurt as “a wall of orange” razed most of a remote South Island village.

The blaze began in a mountain forest early Sunday morning and, fanned by strong winds, swept through the village of Lake Ohau, forcing residents to flee for their lives.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) said the unpredictable winds made fighting the fire “challenging” and by Monday afternoon it had razed 4,600 hectares (18 square miles) of land.

Waitaki District mayor Gary Kircher said the tiny Lake Ohau community had been devastated.

“Of the 60 or 70 houses, we believe that the majority have gone,” he told Radio New Zealand.

“The reality is that it’s a minor miracle no one has been harmed. If it had been anther 15-20 minutes it would have been a

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Dozens of Lake Ohau homes left in ashes by overnight fire | 1 NEWS

Lake Ohau Village has been largely turned to ash after a raging forest fire ripped through the area overnight. 

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Dozens of homes appear to have been burned in the fire near Lake Ohau.
Source: Gary Kircher


About 30 houses and as many cars are believed to have been destroyed in the on-going blaze after it blitzed through the Mackenzie Country village last night.

Just how the raging fire began is not yet known according to Civil Defence Minister Peni Henare.

Minister Henare says the situation is a matter of “wait and see” as to what extent the damage caused will be but there is no indication as to what may have triggered the fire.  

Several homes have been turned to ash after being engulfed in flames overnight.
Source: Supplied


“As of now, there is still no understanding of how the fire started at

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New Jersey Veterans Homes Likely Failed to Acknowledge Covid-19 as Cause in Dozens of Deaths, Officials Say

A state-run nursing home for veterans in New Jersey failed to attribute nearly 40% of its likely Covid-19 deaths to the virus, according to the state’s own Department of Health.

The Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home, in Edison, N.J., attributed 62 deaths to the new coronavirus on the website of the state’s veterans’ affairs agency. But a Department of Health spokeswoman, Nancy Kearney, said late Wednesday that an additional 39 people probably died from the virus at the facility during a wave of infections there.

Another state-run veterans home, in Paramus, N.J., also likely had more Covid-19 deaths than the total it attributed to the virus, Ms. Kearney said. The likely undercount at the two facilities, among the deadliest in the state for the virus, was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The findings show how publicly reported nursing home mortality figures can fail to reflect the true toll

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