Published: Sat, December 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Amid mounting criticism, Scott Morrison is flying home to address the bushfires

Amid mounting criticism, Scott Morrison is flying home to address the bushfires

Two volunteer firefighters battling massive wildfires in Australia were killed in a road accident Thursday, according to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

"With extreme wind conditions, extreme hot temperatures, we have a good idea, a good sense, of where the most concerning areas are, but again when you've got those turbulent conditions, embers and spot fires can occur very unpredictably", she told reporters.

On Thursday, Australia recorded its hottest day on record as national temperatures topped more than 42 degree Celsius (107.6 degree Fahrenheit).

The Rural Fire Service said up to 40 houses could be destroyed southwest of Sydney.

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said five 100-member "strike teams" were on standby to deploy to the most unsafe fires.

In Victoria, after days of blistering heat a cool change has brought risky dry lightning, increasing the fire danger for firefighters tackle more than 100 blazes across the state.

Emergency warnings remain for fires burning in South Australia, which has left one dead from a auto crash in Lameroo, a bushfire zone, and eight people were treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

"I deeply regret any offence caused to any of the many Australians affected by the awful bushfires by my taking leave with family at this time", Morrison said.

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"I deeply regret any offence caused to any of the many Australians affected by the bad bushfires by my taking leave with family at this time", he said on Friday.

An old auto burns from bushfires in Balmoral, 150 kilometres southwest of Sydney.

Melbourne on Friday was shrouded in smoke wafting from the New South Wales wildfires much like the haze that has often blanketed Sydney during the past month, making its iconic skyline barely visible.

"As soon as people hear our accents, they ask if we're the Canadians", she said. - A state of emergency was declared in Australia's most populated region on December 19 as an unprecedented heatwave fanned out-of-control bushfires, destroying homes and smothering huge areas with a toxic smoke. Australia is the world's largest exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas.

Mr Morrison issued a statement on Friday morning, revealing he had to bring forward his leave due to the need to travel to India and Japan in January.

The fires have resulted in days of heavy pollution in Sydney, a city usually known for its sparkling harbour and blue skies.

Six more wildfire management staff from Saskatchewan are heading to New South Wales, Australia, for 38 days.

Fitzsimmons said his family had a tradition of volunteering and Keaton's father was also a firefighter who was battling the Gospers Mountain blaze at the time of his son's death.

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