Monday, December 30, 2019

Australia fires worsen as every state hits 104 F

Australia fires worsen as every state hits 40C

Scores of fires are burning out of control across Australia amid a heatwave that has seen temperatures exceed 40C (104F) in every state.
The most dangerous fires on Monday were in the state of Victoria.

About 30,000 residents and tourists were urged to flee East Gippsland - a popular holiday region - but evacuations were later deemed too risky as fires encroached on major roads.

A volunteer firefighter died battling a blaze in the state of New South Wales.

In total, 10 people have died in the nation's bushfire crisis since September.
Meteorologists say a climate system in the Indian Ocean, known as the dipole, is the main driver behind the extreme heat in Australia.

How bad are the blazes in Victoria?
Scorching temperatures, strong winds and thunderstorms created dangerous conditions in Victoria on Monday.
In East Gippsland, three fires burning near the towns of Bruthen, Buchan and Bonang rapidly expanded as temperatures soared to the mid-40Cs.
Officials said the wind-driven blazes were "racing" towards the coast, and had moved faster than predicted.

Residents in northern Melbourne were told to "act immediately to survive" as firefighters struggled to battle an out-of-control fire.
Officials said the fire in Bundoora, some 16km (10 miles) north of Melbourne city centre, was "threatening homes and lives".
"The safest option is to take shelter indoors immediately. It is too late to leave," Victoria Emergency said.
The fire, which reportedly damaged homes in the area, was later downgraded from the emergency level.
Other emergency warnings remained in place for several fires in the state, with some urged to evacuate.

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