Monday, February 09, 2009

Australian wildfire toll continues to rise

Officials expect more than 200 are dead as a result of wildfires burning across Australia.

More than 750 homes have been destroyed with 5,000 people homeless.

Australians have a 'stay and fight' policy that often works well for normal bushfires. However the record record 115 degree heat and years of drought have caused conditions unlike any seen in recent memory.

There have already been questions asked as to the role of climate change's contribution to the severity of fires since Australia has been previously identified as a region vulnerable to global warming. Climate change experts have warned that Australia is likely to experience an increase in both frequency and severity of wildfires.

"[The fires] are a sobering reminder of the need for this nation and the whole world to act and put at a priority the need to tackle climate change," Australian Green Party leader Bob Brown told the Sky News.

USA Today

More than 200 feared dead in Australia wildfires
Los Angeles Times, CA - 6 hours ago
Senior Wildlife Officer Geoff McClure inspects the destruction in Marysville, Australia, about 62 miles northeast of Melbourne, after wildfires almost ...
Video: Massive devastation in Australian bushfires - 9 Feb 09AlJazeeraEnglish

Australia declares bushfire disaster a crime scene Reuters

Death Toll Climbs in Australia Fires New York Times

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