Illustration for article titled Officials Say Outbreak Of Australian Wildfire May Have Spread From Engulfed Passenger Traveling From U.S.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—Calling the individual “patient zero” for the lethal strain of flames currently raging across the continent, Australian authorities announced Monday that the nationwide outbreak of wildfire may have been spread from Jeffrey Meyers, a Delta Airlines passenger traveling from the U.S. while ablaze. “Our findings suggest that even as Mr. Meyers calmly boarded his flight in Los Angeles, he was carrying a particularly dangerous type of fire on his person,” said New South Wales Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, speculating that within hours of disembarking, Meyers had already transmitted the inferno to large swaths of bush during a tour of the outback and while staying in the now-conflagrating remains of an Airbnb. “It’s possible Meyers wasn’t even aware that he was carrying the burning embers from country to country. For that reason, we’re asking any passengers who had contact with him as he burned alive—whether it was brushing past his smoldering body or touching a nearby armrest that had burst into flames—to report to authorities immediately for an inspection.” Authorities went on to recommend that any residents who feel even a trace of burning douse themselves in water to prevent the outbreak’s rapid spread.

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