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World Bushfires conditions worsen in east and west Australia

03:20  17 november  2019
03:20  17 november  2019 Source:   reuters.com

More than 60 bushfires are raging the state of New South Wales in Australia

  More than 60 bushfires are raging the state of New South Wales in Australia Fire officials are warning of "catastrophic fire danger" as firefighters battle dozens of blazes raging across the Australian state of New South Wales. © Dan Peled/EPA/Shutterstock Mandatory Credit: Photo by DAN PELED/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10470920b) A firefighter works to contain a bushfire near Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia, 10 November 2019. Three people have reportedly been killed, five are missing and 150 homes have been destroyed as more than 80 bushfires are burning uncontained around the state.

Bushfires in Australia are a widespread and regular occurrence that have contributed significantly to shaping the nature of the continent over millions of years.

Western Australia declared catastrophic fire ratings for four of the state regions as temperatures were set to rise well above 40 degrees Celsius (104° Conditions are expected to further worsen for most of Australia 's east coast as of Tuesday as temperatures are set to rise amid continued dry conditions .

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Microsoft News US is supporting Microsoft News Australia in its campaign to help respond to the devastating bushfires that are ravaging the country. Together we are raising fundsfor Australian Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army. These organizations are helping communities across the country. You can help by donating here . For the latest news on this disaster from MSN Australia, visit Bushfire emergency.

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rising temperatures, lightning strikes and gusty winds further raised fire danger on both coasts of Australia on Sunday as the country already battles more than 120 bushfires and firefighters work day and night trying to contain them.

Western Australia declared catastrophic fire ratings for four of the state regions as temperatures were set to rise well above 40 degrees Celsius (104°F) on Sunday.

Although the regions are thinly populated, the highest warning means that any fires that start are likely to be so devastating that even the most prepared properties may not survive it.

Australia's bushfires are a common and deadly threat but the early outbreak this year in the southern spring has already claimed several lives and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Queensland authorities issued emergency warnings for part of the state, where nearly 70 fires were burning early on Sunday.

"Today is another day for severe and extreme fire danger," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said on Twitter. "Please, remain vigilant."

In New South Wales, where 303 homes have been lost in the past week and which saw its first-ever catastrophic fire rating issued for Sydney on Tuesday, there were 56 fires burning across the state with nearly half yet to be contained, NSW Rural Fire Services said.

"Crews overnight undertook backburning behind properties due to forecast elevated fire dangers today," the fire services said on Twitter.

"This important work will continue as conditions allow throughout the day."

Back burns are fires deliberately lit to clear dry undergrowth to protect properties and keep the fire from spreading.

Conditions are expected to further worsen for most of Australia's east coast as of Tuesday as temperatures are set to rise amid continued dry conditions.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Koalas are not functionally extinct, but they need our help .
Reports abound Australia's bushfires have pushed the cuddly, grey marsupial to the brink but scientists have raised questions.The bushfires wreaked havoc across Australia, destroying hundreds of thousands of hectares of bushland. It's estimated up to 1,000 koalas may have killed half the population living in Port Macquarie. A tragedy, for a species already struggling to survive against the effects of climate change , disease and deforestation.

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