Melbourne – Australia’s residents and its fire department are currently experiencing a roller coaster in the weather: Amid the heat and devastating bush fires, parts of the country have been hit by severe storms, some of which have hampered fire fighting. On Tuesday, however, the authorities warned that the heat and new fires would return in the next few days.
“The weather has been driving the carousel with us in the past few days,” said Kevin Parkin of the Australian Weather Agency on Tuesday. “We experienced fires and storms and floods and hail with grains the size of limes that did considerable damage – just to sudden fire hazard to return. “
Temperature rise and wind forecast in Victoria
In the south Australian state of Victoria with its capital city Melbourne, heavy rainfall has brought relief to some regions in the past 48 hours. Larger fires could finally be brought under control there after weeks. But at the same time, landslides and lightning obstructed the work.
In the west of the state, temperatures are likely to rise again on Wednesday and, accompanied by violent winds, will cause new fires to break out. The greatest danger there is that the new fires will hit communities that did not count on them, said the chief of the local fire department, Steve Warrington.
Without being prepared for fires, the future fate of the communities depends on “the decisions of the people who are now making them.” However, weather experts expected rain again on Wednesday evening.
Over 40 degrees expected in New South Wales
In the state of Sydney, further north, with its capital city Sydney, heavy rain also provided relief in some areas. In other areas, however, the soil was so wet that the fire brigade could no longer torch the undergrowth as a precaution to remove further food from bushfires. In the state, the heat is likely to return on Thursday, with temperatures of sometimes over 40 degrees.
Australia has been experiencing the worst bush fires in its history for months. The government is now also acknowledging that climate change has contributed to the situation. (APA / AFP)