Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

A bushfire burns in New South Wales, Australia, on Dec. 15, 2019, in this still image obtained from social media video.

NSW RFS – TERRY HILLS BRIGADE/Reuters

A backburning operation intended to contain a massive wildfire in eastern Australia sparked out of control, damaging buildings and cutting off major roads, authorities said, as the country heads into another heat wave that may topple temperature records.

The accident occurred about 250 km (155 miles) northwest of Sydney, where firefighters were trying to stop a blaze of some 378,000 hectares (934,000 acres) reaching communities by employing pre-emptive controlled burning.

“We saw a dramatic shift in conditions, a flare-up of fire, some extraordinary behaviour of that fire, and that fire has spread,” New South Wales state Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told the Australian Broadcasting Corp on Monday.

Story continues below advertisement

Dozens of buildings were destroyed in the area, Fitzsimmons added, although he did not give an exact figure. There were no new reports of casualties on Monday.

Wildfires have killed at least four people, destroyed more than 680 homes and burned nearly 3 million acres of bushland across eastern Australia since the start of November.

Bushfires are common in Australia’s hot, dry summers, but the ferocity and early arrival of the fires in the southern spring is unprecedented. Experts have said climate change has left bushland tinder-dry.

Spot fires that would normally be contained on their own have been fanned by wind, coming together into what authorities have called megafires to Sydney’s north, west and south, prompting evacuations and sporadically shrouding the country’s biggest city in smoke.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned of severe to extreme heat wave conditions in the inland parts of the country’s south-east, with temperatures expected to approach or exceed a national average record of 40.3 degrees Celsius (105.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

“We saw significant heat build over Western Australia over the course of last week, and that heat is now pushing east over the continent, which is going to lead to several days of exceptional heat,” bureau climatologist Blair Trewin said in a statement.

“We’re closely monitoring the development and progression of this heat but based on current forecasts we could see that record broken this week.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Rural Fire Service’s Fitzsimmons said the heat would exacerbate fire danger, and “despite the very best efforts of everyone, we’re not going to able to contain these fires that we’re expecting later in the week.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies