Cooler temperatures bring some relief to fire-ravaged Australia but emergency crews continue to battle bushfires across the southeast.
SUSSEX INLET, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 9, 2012) (NINE NETWORK) - Bushfires were still burning in Australia despite the cooler weather on Wednesday (January 9) but temperatures are set to soar again at the weekend.
Some blazes eased as favourable weather conditions spread along the southeast of the country with the Rural Fire Service downgrading the danger level from catastrophic to high.
Many motorists stranded on the Princess Highway in Sussex Inlet had to wait overnight in their cars for smoke to clear before they could safely drive home, local media said.
"I'm pretty devastated, shocked. I don't know how to take it all in and what it means for the immediate future," said Firth
Broadcaster Nine Network reported that an estimated 10,000 sheep have been killed across New South Wales.
Australia, the world's driest inhabited continent, is particularly vulnerable to bushfires, fuelled each summer by extreme heat and by what scientists say is creeping climate shift blamed for hotter average temperatures globally.
Authorities warned earlier in the Australian summer that much of the country faced extreme fire conditions this season, after several years of cooler conditions that had aided forest growth, but also created tinder dry fire fuel conditions.
World News >