Aus­tralia bat­tles fa­tal wild­fires amid ‘cat­a­strophic’ con­di­tions

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - NATION & WORLD -

PERTH, Aus­tralia — Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lous state was par­a­lyzed by “cat­a­strophic” fire con­di­tions Satur­day amid 115de­gree tem­per­a­tures, while one per­son died as wild­fires rav­aged the coun­try’s south­east, of­fi­cials said.

“Cat­a­strophic fire con­di­tions are as bad as it gets,” New South Wales Ru­ral Fire Ser­vices Com­mis­sioner Shane Fitzsim­mons told re­porters.

New South Wales is in a seven-day state of emer­gency, with 2,000 fire­fight­ers bat­tling 100 wild­fires. Two fire­fight­ers died Thurs­day bat­tling blazes south­west of Sydney.

Au­thor­i­ties con­firmed Satur­day that one per­son died and 15 homes were de­stroyed in South Aus­tralia as a wild­fire rav­aged Ade­laide Hills.

More than 98,842 acres have burned across South Aus­tralia.

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