Australia faces wait until March for rains to douse bushfires

A handout satellite image made available by NASA shows thick smoke moving into the Tasman Sea from the states of New South Wales and Victoria. EPA-EFE/NASA HANDOUT

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Australia will have to wait until March for rains heavy enough to bring sustained relief from dry weather that has fuelled deadly bushfires, the country’s weather bureau has said.

Over the past few months the bushfires have razed an area roughly a third the size of Germany, killed 29 people, and destroyed more than 2,000 homes.

Some 100 fires are burning across the east coast, and authorities battling to contain them reckon most will stay alight until they are doused by sustained rain.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said there is a 50% chance that the bulk of the country’s east will receive average rainfall from 1 March through to 30 May.

Even then, the bureau warned more rains would be needed to end three years of drought on the east coast.

Read more via RTE

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