Suburbs of cities, including Sydney and Melbourne, which are home to several million people and large Jewish communities, have additionally been hit by brush fires.
The fires are also taking a toll on business owners. The Foldens, who own the Kangaroo Valley restaurant in New South Wales and Martine, said, “This is the two-week period when we make a large portion of our income. So many businesses that are along the coast have been affected by the fires over the last two weeks.”
Meanwhile, more than 340 children were evacuated from the Chabad Youth Gan Yisroel camp near Mount Hotham in Victoria because fires were approaching the site. It’s currently summertime in Australia.
“There were fires over the mountain, and while there wasn’t an evacuation order, the advice from police was to leave,” camp director Rabbi Moshe Kahn, who also runs Chabad Youth Tzach, said of his decision to evacuate, reported The Australian Jewish News.
The children, ages 7 to 17, have returned to Sydney or Melbourne, and are participating in other programs.