Australian news, and some related international items

New Year heat wave threatens Australia with more bushfires

Australia fires and weather: blazes out of control as heatwave expected to peak on New Year’s Eve. Bureau of Meteorology issues wind warnings amid bushfires as temperatures expected to reach 44C north-west of Sydney next week, Guardian, Helen Davidson and agencies

Sat 28 Dec 2019

New South Wales firefighters are gearing up for hotter, drier and windier conditions next week, after a Christmas reprieve.On Saturday morning there were more than 70 fires burning across the state, with eight out of control and about 23 being controlled, as the unprecedented bushfire crisis continued.

However, none were above advice level after more than 1,500 firefighters in the field took advantage of milder conditions over the Christmas week to strengthen containment lines and prepare for a forthcoming heatwave and high fire danger.

The Currowan fire on the south coast and the Green Wattle Creek fire in the southern highlands are among those still out of control, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), but the Gospers Mountain “megafire” and the nearby Grose Valley fire, to the north-west and west of Sydney, are listed as being controlled……

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, faced widespread criticism after going on a family holiday to Hawaii in the midst of the bushfire crisis without publicly announcing it, and with his office reportedly telling journalists he was not in Hawaii.

Morrison returned early last week, apologising for going away. He continued to face criticism for his government’s failure to develop a credible climate change policy.

At least nine people, including two firefighters, have been killed in fires this season – eight of them in NSW.

Almost 1,000 homes are estimated to have been destroyed in the NSW bushfire crisis, according to the most recent impact assessment from the RFS, published on Christmas Eve.

Another 68 facilities and 2,048 “outbuildings” were also confirmed destroyed.

More than 7,800 homes have been saved by firefighters……

At least three fires remain burning in South Australia at advice level, including two on Kangaroo Island, at Bunbury, and at Cudlee Creek where there have been flare-ups in recent days.

December 28, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

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