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Heatwave Threatens to Stoke Australia's Deadly Bushfires

Translator

Tempo.co

Editor

Laila Afifa

31 January 2020 07:45 WIB

A view of orange skies in Auckland, New Zealand, from smoke plumes caused by bushfires in Australia January 5, 2020, in this picture obtained from social media. Smoke from Australia's bushfires has blanketed its major cities over the past month, turned the sky over New Zealand bright orange and left sooty deposits on its glaciers and drifted across the Pacific to South America. TWITTER @ZIMENAJ/via REUTERS

TEMPO.COSydney - Firefighters will struggle to contain deadly fires as soaring temperature and strong winds stoke the threat of more blazes across Australia's east coast, authorities said on Friday, January 31.

Since September, Australia has been battling bushfires that have killed 33 people and an estimated 1 billion native animals, while 2,500 homes as more than 11.7 million hectares across Australia's most populous states have been burned.

With temperatures across New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria states set to approach 40 degrees Celsius on Friday, authorities said several fires could spread despite recent efforts by firefighters to remove flammable fuels.

"We've done a huge amount of work this week...but there are some areas that are exposed," Rob Rogers, NSW Rural Fire Service deputy commissioner told Sky News. "The threat is severe over the weekend."

Bushfires are common in Australia’s hot, dry summers, but the ferocity and early arrival of the fires in the southern hemisphere spring is unprecedented. Experts have said climate change has left bushland extremely dry.

The crisis has put pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who critics say has not done enough to address the impact of climate change.

Keen to dampen public anger, Morrison on Friday pledged funding for emissions reduction projects as part of a A$2 billion ($1.37 billion) package to increase gas supplies in NSW.

Morrison said the extra gas will stabilize the NSW electricity grid, allowing for greater renewable energy generation.

REUTERS



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