Perth records hottest day in November as fire fears continue
MELBOURNE: The danger of more bush fires across Australia has gone up with Perth experiencing on Saturday the hottest November day on record.
Temperatures in Perth Airport reached 40.8 deg C in the afternoon, the WAtoday reported. The previous record for November was 40.3 deg C in 1913 and 2003.
Temperatures of above 40 deg C were forecast for parts of Western Australia yesterday before spreading east next week and worsening conditions in New South Wales and Queensland, two states already stricken by devastating bush fires.
Emergency crews are already working day and night to contain more than 130 blazes.
Despite the devastation these fires cause, several people were caught trying to start them. In Perth, two teenagers tried to burn items of clothing by the roadside and were stopped by a concerned driver.
In New South Wales, police said a 51-year-old man appeared in court on Saturday charged with intentionally lighting a fire at Ebor in an attempt to protect his cannabis crop, AFP reported.
The alleged bungled attempt on Thursday at backburning - a practice used by firefighters to clear undergrowth that fuels fires - quickly spread the flames and the man did not try to extinguish the blaze, according to police. The Ebor fire was 10,000ha in size and was still burning three days later.
The state, where 367 homes have been lost in the past week, reported 56 fires burning with half yet to be contained, fire services said.
The fires have already claimed four lives across Australia's east coast. - REUTERS