Australia Sweats Through Heatwave as Bushfire Risk Soars

Sun Dec 24 2023
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SYEDNEY: On December 24, extensive areas of Australia grappled with intense heatwave conditions, prompting authorities to issue high bushfire risk warnings across Western Australia.

The nation’s weather forecaster alarmed residents in Western Australia and the neighboring Northern Territory, cautioning that temperatures in certain regions could soar to around 45 degrees Celsius.

In Perth, the capital of Western Australia, where the December mean temperature typically hovers around 29 degrees Celsius, a forecasted maximum of 35 degrees Celsius indicated a scorching day ahead. The eastern parts of Australia are experiencing heightened temperatures attributed to El Niño, a climate pattern characterized by unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures, contributing to heatwaves, cyclones, droughts, and wildfires.

As the region grapples with the heat, more than 20 bushfires were reported in Western Australia on December 24, including an uncontrolled fire near Pemberton, a town approximately 320 kilometers south of Perth with around 5,000 residents. The state’s emergency services agency underscored a significant fire danger for various parts of Western Australia, a mining state covering the western third of the Australian continent.

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