Australian Prime Minister To Launch Inquiry Into Handling Of Wildfires

Blaze kills firefighter in Australia

Australian firefighter dies battling blazes, raising death toll to 28

A number of fires burning in the Snowy Mountains region in New South Wales and into Victoria have merged across more than 600,000 hectares of land.

The conservative PM said he regretted taking the vacation in hindsight. "The fire behavior has changed. So we're able to get in front of the fire now, get on the offensive".

Other workers echoed McLean's comments, saying cooler temperatures and mild winds have finally offered them a chance to make progress.

"A bit creamy and nutty, but they're fine", said Stain. "They're not spew-worthy, so they're pretty good", Stain said.

"Although we have tremendous experience in identifying risky trees, sometimes these tree breaks can not be predicted", said Hardman. "Working on the fireplace in a forest environment is a dynamic, high-risk environment and carries a significant risk".

The bushfires that have been raging since September 2019 have destroyed more than 2,000 homes and an area twice the size of Belgium, and have killed or destroyed the habitats of an estimated one billion wild animals. Four of the victims were firefighters.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday that he will propose a royal commission into the bushfire crisis affecting the country. Thousands of protesters gathered in Sydney and Melbourne on Friday to demand that Morrison be released and that Australia should act harder against global warming.

Elements to examine include the deployment of local and state emergency services, the federal government's role responding to the crisis and the impact of climate change has played, he said.

He added that he believes one of the issues which should be explored by a royal commission into the bushfires, which he will put to cabinet and the state premiers in coming weeks, would be the impact of climate change.

He said his government accepted that climate change would lead to longer, hotter, and drier summers, although junior government legislator George Christensen posted on social media at the weekend that the cause of the recent fires was more arson than man-made climate change be.

According to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, climate change is influencing the frequency and severity of risky fire conditions in Australia and other parts of the world.

State authorities have said a minority of fires are deliberately lit.

"We have set our targets and we intend to meet and beat them and to evolve our policy to ensure that we reduce emissions as much as we can within the policy framework of not having a carbon tax, not having people's electricity prices go up, not wiping out the important industries that Australians rely on for their livelihoods across the country", he said today.

Mr Morrison said the scale of the bushfires was "unprecedented" and had created a situation in which Australians were demanding a greater response from the Federal Government than had been provided in the past.

Morrison rejected criticism that his government had not done enough before the wildfire season started, but he admitted that once the fires started, some responses could have been different. "But like the government, I am aware of the very real scars that will remain for quite a while for those who have been subjected to the trauma of these bushfires".

While the fire threat is most acute in rural communities, wildfire smoke that has choked some of Australia's largest cities is a reminder to many urban Australians of the unfolding disaster. Authorities are using relatively benign conditions forecast in southeast Australia for a week or more to consolidate containment lines around scores of fires that are likely to burn for weeks without heavy rainfall.

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