Australia goes from defense to offense in a battle against forest fires

Pablo Tucker
January 14, 2020

"We still have a long fire season ahead of us so we plead that everyone remains vigilant, this cooler weather is huge relief to everyone, but it is only a matter of time until the hot, windy weather returns", said NSW Rural Fire Service Rylstone Station in a Facebook post.

The weather is expected to remain benign for the next week, although any deterioration in conditions after that could see the wildfires flare up again.

Thousands of protesters rallied late on Friday in Sydney and Melbourne, calling for Mr Morrison to be sacked and for Australia to take tougher action on global warming. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed regret for the way the firefighters have been dealt with.

"This fire took a major run about seven or eight days ago, and with the weather changing now, the weather settling down, the fire has settled down", said Dale McLean, a firefighter in New South Wales.

"The scientific evidence base shows that as the world warms due to human-induced climate change, we experience an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events", the academy's president John Shine said in a statement.

The fires have emitted 400 megatonnes of carbon dioxide and produced harmful pollutants, the European Union's Copernicus monitoring programme said. "Our party room has a broad range of views", Mr Morrison said of those within government ranks who reject mainstream climate science.

Every state in Australia is affected by fire but the worst is New South Wales.

"The government's policy is set by the Cabinet".

Since September, the fires have ravaged more than 80,000 square kilometres, an area larger than Ireland, and left 27 people dead, besides an estimated one billion wild animals.

"While the threat of fire is more acute in rural communities, the smoke from forest fires that has smothered some of the largest cities in Australia remind many urban Australians of the ongoing disaster".

The fire that has spread in the forests of Australia for the last 4 months his still ongoing.

"Whilst it was a very long and - in parts of New South Wales - hard night, we're relieved this morning that no lives have been lost and no substantial property damage", New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Saturday.

Progress came after a firefighter was killed by the fall of a tree.

The married father of two was commended in November for 40 years of service with the forestry agency.

Harris prepared for the flames by throwing iron sheets over his windows and clearing the area around the grass house and shrubs that might have been on fire. Scott Morrison is facing criticism over his government's stand on the issue of fire and climate change.

Another junior politician, Craig Kelly, has also publicly denied any link between climate change and fire crisis.

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