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Monday, January 14, 2013

#Australia Wildfire Threat Reduced

 Milder Temperatures Ease Australian Wildfire Fears


Update: A Firefighter has been badly burned while operating at an out-of-control brush fire north of Canberra in New South Wales today. The NSW Rural Fire Services Firefighter was taken by helicopter on this afternoon to Concord Hospital in Sydney with severe burns and is in critical condition.
Associated Press/Holmes Family, Tim Holmes - In this Jan. 4, 2013, photo provided by the Holmes family, Tammy Holmes, second from left, and her grandchildren, two-year-old Charlotte Walker, left, four-year-old Esther Walker, third from left, nine-year-old Liam Walker, eleven-year-old Matilda, second from right, and six-year-old Caleb Walker, right, take refuge under a jetty as a wildfire rages near-by in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, east of the state capital of Hobart, Australia. The family credits God with their survival from the fire that destroyed around 90 homes in Dunalley. Record temperatures across southern Australia cooled Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, reducing the danger from scores of raging wildfires but likely bringing only a brief reprieve from the summer’s extreme heat and fire risk. (AP Photo/Holmes Family, Tim Holmes)

COOMA, Australia -- Record temperatures across southern Australia cooled Wednesday, reducing the danger from scores of raging wildfires but likely bringing only a brief reprieve from the summer's extreme heat and fire risk.


Australia had its hottest day on record Monday with a nationwide average of 40.33 degrees Celsius (104.59 degrees Fahrenheit), narrowly breaking a 1972 record of 40.17 C (104.31 F). Tuesday was the third hottest day at 40.11 C (104.20 F). Four of Australia's hottest 10 days on record have been in 2013.

Cooler conditions brought relief to firefighters, who were battling around 200 fires across Australia's southeast, and gave them the chance to build earth breaks to try to contain the blazes. The risk from fire was expected to increase later in the week as temperatures again rise.

No deaths have been reported from the wildfires, although around 100 people haven't been accounted for since last week when a blaze destroyed around 90 homes in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, east of the state capital of Hobart. On Wednesday, police spokeswoman Lisa Stingel said it was likely most of those people simply haven't checked in with officials.


The U.S. government announced on Tuesday that 2012 had been the United States' hottest year on record.

A brutal combination of a widespread drought linked to a La Nina weather event and a mostly absent winter pushed the average annual U.S. temperature last year up 0.6 C (1.08 F) above the previous record set in 1998 to 12.96 C (55.32 F).

The same La Nina brought flooding rains to much of Australia in the cool first half of 2012. The second half was dry and hot, ending the year with a daily temperature 0.11 C (0.2 F) above the daily average of 21.81 C (71.26 F).

Source: http://www.weather.com/news/australia-wildfires-heat-20130108CFN - California Fire News 2012 

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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