MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Bush fires are typical and can be deadly in Australia, thanks to the dry summers. However, the intensity and earlier arrival of this outbreak in the southern hemisphere has many worried. In the past week electricity firms cut off power to thousands of people and residents in high risk areas looked for shelter as Australia’s devastating bush fires rage on.
The blazes have been induced by the extremely dry conditions after three years of drought in parts of New South Wales and Queensland. Experts say the dry conditions made the situation much worst and they are experiencing catastrophic fire danger.
The latest outbreak, which killed three people, has been fueled by the combination of hot temperatures and gusty winds. The bush fires have consumed more than 2 million acres of land and has damaged or destroyed homes.
In Sydney, where the population sits at near five million people, health experts urged people with respiratory issues to stay inside because the city was covered by an unhealthy smoky haze.
Approximately 600 schools and colleges were closed across the state and several were evacuated. Several outdoor annual events have been canceled or postponed.
Australia’s mainland states, and the Northern Territory, had areas where temperatures were more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. On top of the hot temperatures a code red bushfire warning has been issued. A code red is the worst level for bushfires.
Places like Smithville at New South Wales and Walpepup in Victoria along with parts of Queensland and South Australia also recorded extreme triple-digit temperatures.
Cooler temperatures are expected soon but officials warn that the dangerous conditions will linger.