The brutal heat wave in Australia shows no sign of letting up as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology predicts temperatures to soar over 40 degrees Celsius starting Jan. 14. According to the weather bureau, Melbourne and most of Victoria will experience extreme heat conditions.
Reuters A Rural Fire Service fire-fighter runs to help a colleague who fell near flames while spraying water on a small fire near a home in the Blue Mountains suburb of Faulconbridge. December 29, 2012. REUTERS
Perth recorded temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius as authorities scramble to put out bushfires in the suburbs during the weekend. Residents in Perth were advised to prepare while "very high" fire danger ratings remained across the southeastern parts of Australia.
Fire authorities have issued warnings as extreme temperatures are predicted to reach NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The heat continues to build up due to the slow change of weather patterns in the country.
Petere Zmijewski, a weather forecaster from the bureau, predicted areas in the western part of NSW will be the first to experience the scorching heat starting Jan. 13. Coastal areas will be spared from extreme temperatures but western Sydney will have "quite a spell of hot weather", according to Mr Zmijewski.
Bushfires across Perth
Dozens of homes were destroyed in Western Australia as firefighters struggled to control the blaze that quickly spread. Last Jan. 12, authorities issued an emergency warning and urged residents to prepare for bushfires in the suburbds of Parkerville, Stoneville and Mount Helena.
Local reports said the fire had flames reaching 65 feet or 20 metres high. According to the Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services, it will be too late for residents to get out of their homes. People in affected areas were urged to "take shelter" and prepare to protect their property if necessary.
Several local fire brigades and water-bombing planes have come to the aid of the local fire department to stop the fire.
Bureau forecaster Tom Boeck told AAP that the average temperature could reach 45 degrees anywhere in Australia except for coastal areas.
Premier Jay Weatherill in South Australia said there is a need to review bushfire action plans to respond more quickly in emergency situations. Players of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne will be greeted with extreme temperatures for most days of the event.
Animals were reported to have collapsed and fell down from the sky as Australia continued to sizzle in record-breaking temperatures. After news of 100,000 bats falling from the sky, reports of kangaroos "fainting" due to extreme heat were confirmed. A large number of kangaroos, parrots and emus were reportedly found dead in Winton, one of the hottest spots in Queensland.
A Rural Fire Service fire-fighter runs to help a colleague who fell near flames while spraying water on a small fire near a home in the Blue Mountains suburb of Faulconbridge. December 29, 2012. REUTERS