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Australia fires: state of emergency declared after hottest day on record – The Telegraph, Telegraph.co.uk

Australia fires: state of emergency declared after hottest day on record – The Telegraph, Telegraph.co.uk


A property burns from bushfires in Balmoral, 150 kilometres southwest of SydneyA property burns from bushfires in Balmoral, 150 kilometres southwest of SydneyA property burns from bushfires in Balmoral, (kilometers southwest of Sydney)Credit:AFP

Astate of emergency was declared in Australia’s most populated region on Thursday, as the country saw its all-time temperature record broken again.

About fires have been burning for weeks in drought-plagued New South Wales (NSW) with half of them uncontained, including a ” mega-blaze “ringing Sydney,

covering Australia’s largest city in a haze of toxic smoke.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the seven-day state of emergency, the second declared in the state since the bushfire season began early in September, was due to “catastrophic weather conditions.”

Temperatures are expected to near degrees celsius in South Australia and peak at degrees in the western suburbs of Sydney, while turbulent winds of up to miles an hour are expected to fan bushfires burning ever-closer to the city.

Australia set a record for its hottest day ever for a second straight day, with an average national temperature of 41. 9 degrees Celsius (157. 4 Fahrenheit), a full degree higher than the previous mark, officials said on Thursday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the new nationally averaged maximum was reached on Wednesday, topping the (********************************************************. 9 degrees hit on Tuesday, which beat the previous record of (*******************************************************. 3 C in January (**************************************. **************

“The firefront has been spreading very quickly and intensely,” NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters in Sydney , adding that two firefighters had been airlifted to hospital with burns to their faces and airways. “It’s still a very difficult and dangerous set of circumstances.”

The RFS posted footage on its official Twitter account showing firefighters tackling one of the three blazes ringing Sydney. A waterbomber aircraft was dwarfed by thick gray and black billowing cloud as it attempted to douse flames in bushland just meters away from homes.

The heatwave is another alarm bell about global warming in Australia, where this year early and intense start to summer bushfires has heaped pressure on the government to do more to tackle climate change.

There were 2, firefighters battling the blazes on thursday , with the support of small US and Canadian teams, as well as Australia Defense Force personnel.

Smoke from a bushfire approaches the Old Hume Highway near the town of Tahmoor, NSWCredit:Rex

New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said five 150 – person “strike teams” were on standby to deploy to the most dangerous fires give the “enormity of some of these fire complexities and the severity of the forecast weather conditions”.

“The worst of the fire weather conditions, the extreme fire danger ratings we are expecting today, are centred around the greater Sydney environment , “he added.

At Buxton, about 107 Kilometers southwest of Sydney, longtime resident Paul Collins said a nearby bushfire that had destroyed properties was “much worse” than in past years.

“It’s spread faster with the wind, and the bush and the ground is just so dry,” he told AFP, blaming climate change and the drought for the worsening fires.

“It’s just a horrendous situation, really.”

The fires have sparked climate protests targeting the conservative government, which has resisted pressure to address the root causes of global warming in order to protect the country lucrative coal export industry.

On Thursday climate protesters marched on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s official residence in Sydney to demand curbs on greenhouse gas emissions and highlight his absence on an overseas holiday as large parts of the country burn.

The extreme weather is causing major health concerns, with leading doctors this week labeling the smoke haze that has shrouded Sydney for weeks a ” public health emergency. ”

Hospitals have been recording large increases in emergency room visits for respiratory problems, including a dramatic percent spike when air quality plummeted on December 19, while emergency ambulance call-outs were up (% in the past week alone.) ************************

New South Wales health officials are urging vulnerable people – particularly the elderly and those suffering chronic conditions – to stay indoors amid worries the scorching heat combined with toxic bushfire smoke could cause “severe illness, hospital admissions and even death.”

A ferry passes by the Sydney Opera House as smoke haze from bushfires in New South Wales blankets SydneyCredit:Rex

One megafire in the Kanangra Boyd National Park to the city’s southwest had crept to the very outskirts of Campbelltown, a suburb of 728, (people.)

By late afternoon, Sydney was sitting at No.4 on the IQAir AirVisual live rankings of pollution in global cities, above Dhaka, Mumbai, Shanghai and Jakarta.

Many commuters have donned breathing tasks in recent weeks as air quality has plunged to hazardous levels not previously seen in the city.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Dean Narramore said the “dangerous and disastrous” heat wave was toppling dozens of “extraordinary” records across the country .

“We’re heading into a fifth or sixth day in a row where multiple places broke a record. And we’re likely to see 40 or 50 records around the country break, “he told national broadcaster ABC.

more than

fires are raging across Queensland state to the north of NSW, including one at Peregian, near the coastal tourist hub of Noosa, that forced people to flee their homes Wednesday.

Bushfires are also burning in Western Australia and South Australia, where the mercury is hitting the mid to high – 40 s in many areas.

At least three million hectares of land has been torched across Australia in recent months, with six people killed and more than homes destroyed.

Scientists say the blazes have come earlier and with more intensity than usual due to global warming and a prolonged drought that has left the land tinder dry and many towns running out of water.

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