Australia is fighting one of its worst bushfire seasons, fuelled by record-breaking temperatures and months of drought. The country has always experienced bushfires but this year they are a lot worse than normal.
At least 24 people have died since the fires began in September. Air quality in the capital Canberra was recently rated the worst in the world.
However, there is good news for parts of the Australian regions affected by catastrophic fires, as rainfall with thunder is approaching.
However, officials warned temperatures would rise by Thursday. They also said huge fires in Victoria and New South Wales could meet to create a larger “mega blaze”.
Despite the respite, haze pollution will remain dangerously high. The weekend saw some of the worst days of the crisis so far, with hundreds more properties destroyed. Rural towns and major cities saw red skies, falling ash and smoke that clogged the air.
Most have now left. Some to their homes as the fire threat eased. Others to evacuation centres in bigger towns after authorities warned the wharf really wasn’t a safe option.
The rain will hopefully give some respite from the smoke-filled air.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said A$2bn ($1.4bn; $1.1bn) would be committed to recovery over the next two years.