Australia: Heatwave raises fire danger

Melbourne: Australia’s south-eastern states are bracing for potential fires and strong winds as a heatwave pushes temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius in many areas.

A large blaze brought an emergency warning to Adelaide in South Australia on Monday, while neighbouring Victoria faced its worst fire risk in a year.

Victoria’s capital Melbourne reached 30C by 07.30 local time (20.30 Sunday GMYT) ahead of an expected 40C maximum.

Temperatures in Sydney were also forecast to exceed 30C for a third day.

The blaze in the Adelaide Hills strengthened on Monday on the back of the hot and gusty conditions.

Smoke has also settled over Adelaide, obscuring parts of the city skyline and prompting some residents to wear face masks.

Since the hot spell began on Friday, the Bureau of Meteorology (Bom) has issued heatwave warnings for South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland.

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