Published: Mon, January 13, 2020
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Australians brace for escalating fire danger in south

Australians brace for escalating fire danger in south

Morrison said his government had accepted that climate change would lead to longer, hotter, and drier summers, although younger government legislator George Christensen posted on social media at the weekend that the cause of the recent fires was more arson than human caused climate change.

But Morrison rejects criticism that his government is contributing to the crisis.

In current weeks, Mr Morrison has actually been heckled by citizens when going to fire-hit areas in the states of New South Wales and also Victoria, where the most very bad blazes are focused.

More than 10 million hectres of land have been burnt and thousands of Australians made homeless, with anger increasing at the government's position on the environmental crisis.

Cooler conditions and some rain in NSW and Victoria helped slow out-of-control fires but they continue to burn and are likely to continue burning for several weeks.

Early this morning another emergency warning was issued for an east Gippsland fire, with people in Tamboon, Tamboon South and Furnell urged to leave before it became too risky.

Many held banners which read "Time is Running Out", "Declare a Climate Emergency", "You have blood on your hands, Morrison", "Make Fossil Fuels History", and "Sack ScoMo".

"The situation is dire and it points to the global crisis we're facing", says Deans.

Smoke rises from a fire at the Adaminaby Complex near Yaouk, New South Wales, Australia, January 11, 2020.

Facing criticism for his handling of the ferocious wildfires that have swept across Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will call for a government inquiry into the response to the blazes.

"I think that is what would be necessary, and I will be taking a proposal through Cabinet to that end", the Prime Minister told Speers.

"We don't want job-destroying, economy-destroying, economy-wrecking targets and goals, which won't change the fact that there have been bushfires or anything like that in Australia", Morrison said in a radio interview Friday, Reuters reports.

An analysis by The New York Times found that the high-powered newspapers and television stations owned by Murdoch have been instrumental in disseminating misleading claims that are in stark contrast to Australian fire authorities.

"Perhaps [it] gives some indication about how much pressure it is under when it comes to climate change", she said.

MR SHANE FITZSIMMONS, commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, on how weather conditions are easing.

Westpac estimated total bushfire losses to date at about A$5 billion ($3.4 billion), higher than the 2009 bushfires in Victoria but smaller than the Queensland floods in 2010/11.

Veteran firefighter Bill Slade died after he was struck by a tree in Omeo. It forecast a hit of 0.2% to 0.5% on gross domestic product.

The fires have emitted 400 megatonnes of carbon dioxide and produced harmful pollutants, the European Union's Copernicus monitoring programme said.

Smoke from the bushfires has drifted across the Pacific, affecting cities in South America, and may have reached the Antarctic, the United Nations (UN)'s World Meteorological Organization has said.

Monday's news of more aid from the government came as energy giant Chevron announced it would provide $1 million to the Australian Red Cross to aid in the recovery efforts.

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