Extreme heat conditions and strong winds are fanning dozens of bushfires across Australia, prompting hundreds to run away from homes in the worst-ever bushfires since Black Saturday in 2009. At least one person died in the Grampians bushland in Victoria, about 300 km from Melbourne. Bushfires are burning uncontrollably amid 40 Celsius temperature.
Victoria has been hit the hardest, with 70 bushfires burning out of control. Several blazes continue to burn in South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales. Emergency warnings have been issued in severely affected areas. The 81 sq. mile fire in the Grampians bushland is so intense it has created its own weather conditions, triggering lightning and spot fires. There is a stronger southernly wind expected to come, which could worsen the conditions and cause the fire to spread further.
The south and southeast of Australia have been in the grip of a heatwave for a week and climate experts warn of even longer and hotter heatwaves, raising questions about its long-term effects.