In Australia, sooty rain in the east coast, from Sydney to Melbourne, with “torrential” rain reported in some parts of New South Wales (NSW) brought some relief from the wildfire ravaging parts of the country. However, officials have warned that temperatures would again rise by Thursday. They also said huge fires in Victoria and New South Wales could meet to create a larger “mega blaze”.
Despite the respite, haze pollution remained dangerously high. Victoria’s Bureau of Meteorology warned that visibility in Melbourne was less than one km in many parts of the city and its surroundings.
The weekend saw some of the worst days of the crisis so far, with hundreds more properties destroyed. Rural towns and major cities saw red skies, falling ash and smoke that clogged the air.
The most common causes of bushfires in Australia include lighting strikes, trees falling on powerlines, arsonists, unintentional kindling of surrounding foliage during agricultural land clearing, dropped matches, cigarettes, sparks caused by power tools, farm machinery and controlled backburning escaping.
Eucalypt trees are synonymous with the Australian bushland and are what most Australians identify with when they hear the words “bushfire”. The eucalyptus leaves contain highly flammable oils that have the ability to burn rapidly and extremely well in a fire.