Published: Sun, November 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Deadly Australian wildfires expected to worsen as temperature soars

Deadly Australian wildfires expected to worsen as temperature soars

The country's weather bureau warned that winds and lightning strikes increase the threat to communities across two states on the country's east coast. For the latest news on this disaster from MSN Australia, visit Bushfire emergency.

As of yesterday morning, 59 bush and grass fires were burning in New South Wales, with 13 yet to be contained, said the Rural Fire Service.

As of this morning, there were almost 70 active bushfires in New South Wales, and a state of fire emergency has been called.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate next week as temperatures are set to rise and no rain is on the horizon.

Fire danger ratings are severe in the far north coast, New England, the northern slopes and northwestern regions, and very high in the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Central Ranges and North Coast regions.

The New Zealand contingent, which will consist of six four-person crews, a task force leader and a liaison officer, will arrive in Sydney on Sunday evening before being deployed to fires around the state, Fire and Emergency New Zealand said in a statement.

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"Police will allege in court that the man lit the fire as an attempt to back burn for the protection of a cannabis crop and perceived benefit from recovery work after the fire and made no attempt to control the blaze", the police said in a statement.

Four Defence Force firefighters are heading across the Tasman tomorrow, to help battle the New South Wales bushfires.

In Queensland, where 16 homes have been destroyed since 7 November, 57 fires were still burning by early evening, down from 61 in mid-afternoon.

He is believed to be a 58-year-old man who had not been seen since Friday when the ferocious fires killed three other people and destroyed at least 150 homes.

But he added: 'Even in these pretty benign conditions we're seeing quite a lot of aggressive fire behaviour simply because it's so dry'.

Bushfires are common in Australia's hot, dry summers, but the ferocity and early arrival of the fires in the southern spring this year has caught many by surprise and stoked an increasingly acrimonious political debate about climate change.

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