Australia: Mass evacuation as catastrophic bushfires worsen

Australia: Mass evacuation as catastrophic bushfires worsen

Australia has lent firefighting resources to Canada four times.

The fire danger increased as temperatures rose Saturday to record levels across Australia, surpassing 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) in Canberra, the capital, and reaching a record-high 48.9 C (120 F) in Penrith, in Sydney's western suburbs. He also committed $14 million to leasing fire-fighting aircraft from overseas. "And now is the time to focus on the response that is being made". Morrison has been criticized for his repeated refusal to say climate change is impacting the fires, instead deeming them a natural disaster. Their (command) structure is set up similar to our structure so I'm sure we're going to fit in well. Tens of thousands of others have been forced to flee their homes.

A total of 18 people have died nationwide, and in the state of New South Wales alone, more than 900 houses have been destroyed.

By Saturday evening, 3,600 firefighters were battling blazes across New South Wales state.

A southerly change with powerful gusts up to 128km/h threatened to spread huge fires raging in New South Wales. New South Wales police said the man was found unconscious in a vehicle and could not be revived. The two were identified Saturday after their bodies were discovered on a highway on Kangaroo Island, an island located off the tip of South Australia.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said they were "shocked and deeply saddened" by the loss of life.

Dick Lang was an acclaimed bush pilot and outback safari operator often called "Desert Dick".

Since the fires began in September, more than five million hectares of land has been burned. That's more acres burned in Australia than any one year in the USA since Harry Truman was president.

Singer-songwriter Pink has pledged $500,000 to help fight the Australian bushfires. Frogs, bats and insects are excluded from his estimate, so the toll on animals is likely much greater.

Morrison's handling of the deployment of reservists also came in for criticism Sunday.

"It certainly is a welcome reprieve, it is psychological relief if nothing else", New South Wales (NSW) state Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said in an afternoon briefing on the situation. The non-partisan Australia Defence Association said the video breached rules around political advertising.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle offered their "thoughts and prayers" to those affected by the Australian wildfires today moments after the Queen relayed a message of deep sadness to the country's Governor General and "to all Australians".

"Can I say the Government has not taken this decision lightly". "That fire is burning". NSW Premier Berejiklian said there was no one unaccounted for in NSW; Victorian authorities said seven people were unaccounted for in Victoria.

"They need rain", said Tetrault.

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