Bushfire season arrived in force recently as emergency fire crews in five states fought blazes amid record temperatures and ominously dry conditions, report Mark Schliebs and Nick Leys at The Australian. In Tasmania, fires destroyed over 65 buildings and unconfirmed reports of one death. Tasmanian fire authorities were making comparisons to the conditions that led to the 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria that left 173 people dead, state fire chief Mike Brown declaring “we reached catastrophic fire danger ratings at times this afternoon”. Fires burned out of control in Victoria and South Australia where temperatures were well above 104 degrees Fahrenheit and strong southwesterly winds worsened conditions. Fires are also burning on the mid-north coast of New South Wales and in western parts of Queensland. Inland Australia expected temperatures above 104 Fahrenheit over the past week, a prolonged heatwave that left southern Australia on high bushfire alert. South Australia recorded a high of over 118 degrees Fahrenheit and 20 people were admitted to hospital with heat-related illness. Meteorologists are describing the blast of hot air as unusual given the size of the area it is affecting.
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Australia’s bushfire season arrived in force yesterday as emergency fire crews in five states fought blazes amid record temperatures and ominously dry conditions. The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/bushfires-savage-towns-as-heatwave-hits-five-states/story-e6frg6nf-1226547898544