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World Fires 'far from over' as storms sweep Australia

04:35  20 january  2020
04:35  20 january  2020 Source:   bbc.com

Australian sheepdog credited with saving hundreds of animals from fire

  Australian sheepdog credited with saving hundreds of animals from fire Patsy the Wonderdog helped herd sheep into safety as fires burned in Victoria.Stephen Hill credits his dog, a shepherd mix, with bringing more than 220 sheep to safety during Australia's devastating wildfires.

Image caption The fire -hit state of Victoria was swept by storms on the weekend. Storms have brought heavy rain to fire -hit regions of eastern Australia but authorities warn the nation's bushfire crisis is still " far from over ". More than 80 blazes were still burning across New South Wales (NSW)

Forecasters have warned of severe storms in Australia 's fire -hit state of Victoria, which could lead to flooding. Recent heavy rains have dampened many of the country's bushfires, but also led to power cuts and road closures. Fires ' far from over ' as storms sweep Australia . 20 January 2020.

A note to MSN readers: Microsoft News US is supporting relief efforts in Australia to help those affected by the recent bushfires. Please consider making a donation today to the organizations helping communities across the country.

a close up of clouds in the sky: Dust clouds enveloped central-west towns in NSW on Sunday© MAGDALENA BLAZEK Dust clouds enveloped central-west towns in NSW on Sunday

Storms have brought heavy rain to fire-hit regions of eastern Australia but authorities warn the nation's bushfire crisis is still "far from over".

More than 80 blazes were still burning across New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria on Monday, despite downpours in recent days.

A severe winter storm is ripping through the US, killing 9 and cancelling more than 1,500 flights

  A severe winter storm is ripping through the US, killing 9 and cancelling more than 1,500 flights Hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, and hail have pelted states in the south, while snow storms, wind, and ice have hit northern states. In the south, hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, and hail have pelted states like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas.

"I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life. Fires ' far from over ' as storms sweep Australia .

Since June 2019, there have been many large bushfires burning across Australia , especially in the south east where a state of emergency was declared in New South Wales.

In Melbourne, residents endured a hail storm on Sunday which prompted more than 1,500 calls to officials for help.

Further storms have also been forecast for bushfire-ravaged states.

Victoria, NSW and Queensland experienced heavy rainfall and floods in recent days, bringing relief to some blaze zones.

But strong winds have also generated dust clouds, temporarily blacking out the sky in NSW towns such as Orange and Dubbo.

Dozens of communities across Australia's south-east are still reeling from fires which have been described as the most destructive on record.

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Since September, blazes have killed at least 30 people, destroyed over 2,000 homes and burnt through 10 million hectares of land - an area almost the size of England.

Rains are finally arriving in fire-ravaged Australia, but they bring new risks

  Rains are finally arriving in fire-ravaged Australia, but they bring new risks Rains are finally arriving in fire-ravaged Australia, but they bring new risksThe rains are not expected to extinguish all the flames, nor will they end the drought, but they are sure to bring relief for the thousands of firefighters seeking to contain the blazes, which still number more than 100 in New South Wales alone.

And summer is far from over . This week, thousands of residents and vacationers in southeastern Australia were forced to evacuate to shorelines as As the blazes swept southeastern Australia early this week, the fire season’s death toll reached at least 15, and officials said it was likely to rise.

Fires ' far from over ' as storms sweep Australia . 20 January 2020. Africa's richest woman 'ripped off her country'.

The crisis has been exacerbated by record temperatures, a severe drought and climate change.

'Need to remain vigilant'

On Monday, Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews said recent rain had proved "very helpful" to bushfire-affected communities.

But he added that storms had also hindered some firefighting efforts and caused a landslide on a highway.

Air quality in the state capital, Melbourne, soared beyond hazardous levels last week due to smoke from nearby bushfires.

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"Ultimately, we need to remain vigilant. It's 20 January - the fire season is far from over," Mr Andrews told reporters.

Victoria's worst fire conditions traditionally occur in the first weeks of February.

Mr Andrews said there was still a "massive fire edge" of more than 1.5 million hectares from blazes which had flared up in the state's east on New Year's Eve.

Fire officials in NSW have also warned of a return to hot and windy conditions later this week.

Experts estimate that over 1 billion animals have perished in the bushfire disaster.

Venomous ‘spider showers’ are Australia’s latest concern .
It’s getting downright Biblical in Australia. Following weeks of incomparable wildfires tempered by torrential rain fall, the land down under is encountering an influx of funnel-web arachnids, which is being referred to as “spider showers.” Following weeks of incomparable wildfires tempered by torrential rain fall, the land down under is encountering an influx of funnel-web arachnids, which is being referred to as “spider showers.

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