Australia turns from defence to offence in wildfire battle

The East Gippsland region in Victoria was devastated by fires and is now at risk of flash flooding. Source AAP IMAGE  State Government of Victoria

Scientists say climate change has contributed to the lengthening of the fire seasons and fuelled more frequent and intense blazes.

The weather is expected to remain benign for the next week, although any deterioration in conditions after that could see the wildfires flare up again. Thousands of protesters gathered in Sydney and Melbourne on Friday calling for Morrison to be sacked and Australia to take tougher action on global warming. He said his government has accepted that climate change will lead to longer, warmer and drier summers, despite the fact that junior lawmaker George Christensen posted on social media over the weekend that the cause of latest fire was arson rather than man- Another subordinate lawmaker, Craig Kelly, also publicly denied any link between climate change and the fire crisis.

Meanwhile, thousands of people took to the streets on Friday in different cities in Australia to protest against the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and their environmental policies in the face of the awful situation caused in the country by the virulent forest fires recorded in recent months.

Fitzsimmons has said that the weather is expected to be colder during the next week so it will offer "some relief" and has indicated that "it will probably be the best seven days we have had without increasing very risky fire ratings".

"This is a longer-term risk framework model which deals with one of the big issues in response to the climate changing", Mr Morrison said.

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

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.

"The government's policy is set by the Cabinet".

A number of fires burning in the Snowy Mountains region in New South Wales and across into Victoria have merged across more than 600,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) of land.

Fire assessors were escorted by Defence into the cut-off town of Mallacoota on Monday, as Victoria counts the cost of the devastating blazes.

Progress came after a firefighter was killed by the fall of a tree.

The National Interagency Fire Center directs the U.S.'s wildland firefighting forces, which include thousands of firefighters who work for the Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior and hundreds of aircraft. He said that 60-year-old Slade was praised in November last year for his 40 years of service in the forest agency.

A poll released Monday showed Prime Minister Scott Morrison's approval ratings have nosedived in the face of widespread anger over his handling of the deadly crisis. Around 2,000 homes have been destroyed in the fire-affected areas of the state.



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