PM predicts ‘extremely difficult next 24 hours’ as death toll rises to 23
Thomson Reuters · Posted: Jan 04, 2020 12:24 PM ET | Last Updated: January 4
A father and son who were battling flames for two days on Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia, are the latest victims of the worst wildfire season in Australian history, and the path of destruction widened in at least three states Saturday due to strong winds and high temperatures.
The death toll in the wildfire crisis is now up to 23 people, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said after calling up about 3,000 reservists to battle the escalating fires, which are expected to be particularly fierce throughout the weekend.
“We are facing another extremely difficult next 24 hours,” Morrison said at a televised news conference. “In recent times, particularly over the course of the balance of this week, we have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.”
Dick Lang, a 78-year-old outback safari operator, and his 43-year-old son, Clayton, were identified by Australian authorities after their bodies were found Saturday on a highway on Kangaroo Island. Their family said their losses left them “heartbroken and reeling from this double tragedy.”