By: Nadeemy Haded

Three people were killed when a tanker plane devoured a fire Thursday while fighting forest fires in the Australian mountain region, the head of the Australian New South Wales state fire service said.

The fire service had previously announced that it had lost contact with the Hercules C-130 plane after two o'clock in the afternoon.

"There do not appear to be any survivors of the plane crash in the annual Monroe area," Service Chief Shin at Tsimmons told reporters in Sydney.

Also Thursday, Canberra Airport was closed due to nearby forest fires, and authorities asked residents south of the Australian capital to search for shelter.

The fires started on Wednesday, but strong winds and high temperatures caused the conditions in the capital to deteriorate.

A second fire broke out near the airport this morning, but it was limited.

"Arrivals and departures will be affected by firefighting operations," the airport administration said in a tweet.

Another tweet from the traffic police said, "Fires are spreading quickly and there are many road closures in the area. Please avoid the area. Local roadblocks are in place."

The authorities have advised residents of some Canberra neighborhoods to seek shelter and have asked others to leave immediately.

Source Sky News

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