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  • Forest fires, Camberra, Jan. 31, 2020.

    Forest fires, Camberra, Jan. 31, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @curlyremus

Published 31 January 2020
Opinion

The Meteorology Bureau said ambient temperature could rise above 104 Fahrenheit in the next few days.

Australia's authorities Friday declared a "state of emergency" in Canberra due to a new forest fire that threatens to spread to the south of the country's capital.

RELATED:

Australia: New Bushfire Threat Reaches Southern Canberra

"The measure will be in effect for the duration of the fire risk in Canberra," Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory Andrew Barr said.

Since the forest fires could get out of control,​​​​​​​ the state of emergency "serves for families to prepare" in the face of danger, said Barr on this measure, which had not been activated in Canberra for 17 years.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology ​​​​​​​predicted that the ambient temperature could rise above 104 Fahrenheit in the next few days.

This circumstance, added to the strong gusts of wind, could fan the fires in hundreds of thousands of coast south of Sydney, which has already been badly hit in months of blazes.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Currently, the authorities' main concern is in a spotlight in the Orroral Valley, which has already razed 18,000 hectares.

More than 80 forest fires continue to burn in the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales, the most affected by the fires.

From September until now, the fires have claimed the lives of 33 people and have razed about 180,000 square kilometers, a territory larger than Syria.

In neighboring New Zealand, where smoke from the Australian blazes has turned glaciers brown, firefighters were battling to contain about 25 fires that spread rapidly to cover about 100 hectares on the South Island. Heatwave conditions were also forecast for much of the country over the weekend.​​​​​​​

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