Swathes of southeast Australia on Thursday were bracing for a days-long heatwave that threatens to stoke bushfires that have been burning for months.
As fire-fighters and residents prepared for the heightened danger, the New South Wales (NSW) state government launched a six-month inquiry to examine both the causes of and response to this season’s deadly wildfires.
“We don’t want to waste the opportunity to take on board any recommendations we need to adopt ahead of the bushfire season this year as we approach summer of 2021,” Gladys Berejiklian, the premier of NSW, said.
NSW state has been one of the hardest hit by bushfires, which started earlier than usual in September.
The blazes have burnt out over 11.7 million hectares (117,000 sq km) across Australia’s most populous states, killing no fewer than 33 people and about 1 billion animals, and destroying 2,500 homes.
Fire danger warnings were issued for several areas in South Australia State, where temperatures were forecast to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and winds were expected to reach 35 kph (22 mph). (Reuters/NAN)