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Record-Breaking Heat In Australia Risks Bush Fires; COVID-19 Puts Hamper On Fishermen; Boater Rescued By Shipping Boat; Discussion On The Poinsettia Plant. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired December 03, 2020 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Today`s show covers news from land and sea. I`m Carl Azuz. We`re happy you`ve tuned in to watch. As parts of the United

States saw near record cold this week, parts of Australia have been sweltering under record breaking heat. And that`s a concern as the nation`s

bush fire season heats up.

Wildfires are common in Australia especially during the summer which just began there. But it`s 2019-2020 bush fire season was its worst on record

and that`s why people inside and outside of Australia are keeping a close eye on Fraser Island, a strip of land off the country`s east coast that`s

about 75 miles long and 15 miles wide. An illegal campfire there ignited a wildfire that`s been burning out of control for a month and a half.

Firefighters have been doing all they can to stop it. Sometimes dropping water on it from the air but strong winds and a heat wave that hit Fraser

Island this week have threatened to make matters worse. It`s the world`s largest sand island.

The only one with a tall rainforest that grows on sand and a popular vacation destination but Fraser Island is being scorched. Some of the

people there have been told to get off the island and given what happened in other parts of Australia last year at this time, residents are hoping

Fraser Island isn`t the sign of things to come.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) shows a haze blanketing forest. A wall of smoke from land to ocean. Australia`s famous holiday destination is up in

flames. As the bush fire of Fraser Island rages on for the sixth straight week. Firefighters have been unable to control the blaze, closing in on

attractions and resorts causing tourists and staff to evacuate.

Authorities say the flames have raised nearly have the island`s land area, consuming the unique ecosystem of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Officials

predict the fire will only get worse. The hottest November on record has left parts of Australia ready to burn.

Smaller fires dotting New South Wales already threatening some neighborhoods. The conditions are ominously similar to those leading up to

last season`s bush fires now dubbed the "Black Summer". Fires that began in late 2019 burned nearly 12 million (inaudible) nationwide, killing at least

33 people as well as an estimated 1 billion animals. It was Australia`s worst fire season on record and officials say it`s likely to happen again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The community out there unfortunately thinks after the last season we were -- we are not at risk of bush fire. The reality is 90

percent of the state is still untouched by bush fire and that means that 90 percent of the land mass across New South Wales is potentially exposed to

the sort of bush fire threat we saw last year.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What is the most widely consumed seafood in the U.S.? Salmon, crab, shrimp, or tuna. Salmon might be the most widely

consumed fish but Americans eat more shrimp than any other seafood.

Shipping out to sea for our next couple stories. We mentioned on Monday as many as 50 million Americans are estimated to have been food insecure in

2020. That estimate comes from "Feeding America", the nation`s largest hunger relief group and food insecurity is generally defined as not being

able to reliably get enough healthy food.

Often because there`s not enough money for it. A government stimulus package signed early this year set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to

help food banks get groceries to people in need. And some of those banks are finding ways to help those who produce our food as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The seafood market changed dramatically with COVID-19. Now non-profits are partnering with local fishermen to keep them fishing

and to put healthy food on the tables of those in need. Restaurants across California are closing or operating at low capacity and the demand for

seafood has dropped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prior to COVID, it was estimated somewhere around 90 percent of seafood was being consumed in restaurants and being exported.

And basically overnight, those markets shut down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Monterey Bay fishermen say their main buyers are Japan and in high end restaurants in San Francisco and San Jose and neither are

buying. Driving down the price of their catch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re just selling as much as we can domestic and local but even then there`s fish left on the table at the end of the month.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To get that fish to people`s kitchens Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust is leveraging a $50,000 grant from east coast non-profit

Catch Together to pay fishermen to do their job. And then give the seafood to emergency food relief programs. Like the food bank from Monterey County

and Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what`s unique about this program is that it`s connecting, you know, the need for food which is, you know, significant

right now. We have a lot of fishermen who are ready and willing and able to go out there and catch fish and-- and provide that to our communities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The program is keeping the boats running and the wholesalers processing. A partnership that local fishermen hope extends

beyond the pandemic.


AZUZ: Factoring into our next story is what the U.S. Coast Guard describes as the bond among mariners. Last Friday, a man named Stuart Bee set sail in

his 32-foot boat the "Stingray". A member of his marina says Bee doesn`t usually stay out overnight so the Coast Guard was called when he wasn`t

back on Saturday. It sent out an aircrew to look for Bee and it notified nearby ships to keep an eye out as well. One of them saved Bee`s life.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are the world`s most interesting man, I`m just the opposite.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he sure has a fascinating story to tell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) and the water came gushing in pushing me out to the front.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was Friday. Some 86 miles off of Florida`s coast. Sixty-two-year-old Stuart Bee, alone on his boat says he did not even have

time to send out a distress signal. He climbed on top of the bough, the only part of his vessel still above water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a minute there, I was thinking this is -- this is very bad. There`s no one around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stuart Bee clinged onto his capsized boat for more than two days before he was rescued by an angel of sorts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took my shirt off, waved that several times. He blew his horn and I figured that was a signal that they were on watch and he saw


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 738-foot shipping boat, "The Angeles" carrying a load of Chiquita bananas from Florida to Delaware spotted the distressed


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. (inaudible). This is (inaudible) vessel "Angeles".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A relieved Bee then plucked from the ocean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rescue one person from a capsizing boat. (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that is the gentleman we`ve been looking for. That is the gentleman we`ve been looking for. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The captain then notifying the Coast Guard. They would continue on their way with their new passenger to the port in Wilmington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) taking care of him. Give him some blankets and some dry clothes. He`s happy (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, so are we. Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And of course, so was Stuart who says his trip here to Wilmington was better than even the most opulent cruise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These guys were just nice (inaudible).


AZUZ: In 1825, Joel Poinsett became the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. He was not a popular figure with the Mexican government but he did bring

something back from Mexico that became a popular symbol of the Christmas season. Who would have thought a poinsettia would ever get this big?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If 2020 has you seeing red, take heart that piddly poinsettia from the grocery store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m about 6 foot, one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can end up man sized. Just ask Mike and his wife Joanne Hill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That thing just exploded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But before we get any further, let`s clear up one thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I grew up saying "poinsetta".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The giant poinsettia --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s what so great about poinsettias.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Either way is acceptable. Poinsettia seems highly preferred. But however you pronounce it --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a little, little, little half dead plant from Mexico. Look at it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From a grocery store in Quebec three years ago, to this. Joanne says Mike is the one with the green thumb.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike took the measly poinsettia outside during the warm months and replanted it in a huge pot. They are considered shrubs or

small trees and can grow as tall as 13 feet.


AZUZ: You say poinsettia. I say poinsetta. In the holiday season, few plants are "betta". For poinsettia scenes with shades of red and green,

they plant Christmas cheer "leafing" it to be seen with the holly and the ivy. It`s worth all the toil to splurge upon a surge that`s a gift from the

soil. Plant puns. I hope they take root.

And speaking of root, we`re rooting for the Chargers of Sun Coast High School. We see you guys at Riviera Beach, Florida and we thank you for your

comment on our You Tube channel. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.