Death toll rises in Australian wildfires with worsening weather forecast

Cheryl Sanders
November 14, 2019

Police said the 16-year-old arrested Thursday would be dealt with "under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act" and called for parents and caregivers to talk to their children about the dangers of lighting fires at this time.

Challenging conditions were expected to flare again in Queensland and New South Wales at the weekend as the temperature rises and winds pick up, and many blazes are still proving hard to contain.

Earlier on Tuesday, several new fires broke out to scores of blazes that have been burning for several days across New South Wales (NSW) state.

Instead, he said current fire chiefs had been locked out of discussions and were "not allowed" to mention climate change.

The raging fires, which began in New South Wales last week, have killed at least three people and destroyed around 150 properties.

As almost 70 wildfires continue to burn across New South Wales, fire officials said that about 1,000 firefighters remain on the ground.

While the cause of numerous blazes in natural, police have warned that no one should be setting any fires at all with a total fire ban in effect over both states.

The annual Australian fire season, which peaks during the Southern Hemisphere summer, has started early after an unusually warm and dry winter. Temperatures are forecast to hit 43 degrees Celsius on Thursday in nearby Port Hedland, the world's largest iron ore export hub.

Firefighters battle a fire in Hillville, Australia, on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said earlier in the week that linking the fires to the government's support of the coal industry was "the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies".

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warned that rain that would quench the fire danger on the east coast is not forecast for months.

"I'm here for my children and my grandchildren, because I am fundamentally concerned about the impact and the damage coming from climate change", he said. "We're in for the long haul", Rogers told Australia's Channel 7.

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