‘Catastrophic’ conditions in Australia as bushfires rage on

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A scorching heatwave intensified bushfires ravaging parts of Australia on Saturday, and out-of-control blazes surrounding Sydney worsened under “catastrophic” conditions.

Australia’s eastern coast has been hit by a record-breaking heatwave, which has moved in from the west of the country, exacerbating hundreds of devastating fires in its path.

Sydney was shrouded in toxic smoke as blazes flared to its north, south and west, some just 130 kilometres from Australia’s largest city.

Bushfires continue to burn in New South Wales
A firefighting helicopter flies over the Grose Valley Fire near Bilpin, New South Wales, Australia, 21 December 2019. EPA-EFE/DAN HIMBRECHTS

Australia endures bushfires every year but the early and intense start to this season, along with the record temperatures, has fuelled concerns about global warming.

Temperatures were expected to peak at 47 degrees Celsius in parts of the country’s most populous state, New South Wales, with west Sydney expected to reach 37 C before a cool change is expected later in the day.

Evacuations were being carried out in the town of Bargo, on the front of a 185,000-hectare blaze which tore through the nearby area on Thursday.

Read more via ABC News

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