Fires Threaten To Merge In Victoria Towns

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Manju Shukla
Date  17/01/2014

Extreme heat scorching the states of South Australia and Victoria has prompted authorities to issue total fire bans as high temperatures cause power outages in 100,000 homes and offices.

Smoke rises from the Yarrabin bushfire, burning out of control near Cooma, about 100km (62 miles) south of Canberra January 8, 2013

Victoria`s Energy Minister Nicholas Kotsiras said in a statement the heat wave has prompted bushfire warnings, including the New South Wales as high winds are expected to increase the risk of wildfires.

Some courts at the Australian Open in Melbourne suspended matches due to rising temperatures as high as 43.9 degrees Celsius. Top Tennis Player Serena Williams remarked that it was "too hot to get into rallies."

Bushfires Threaten Victorian Towns

Victoria firefighters are trying to prevent the spread of dangerous bushfires across the state. Authorities advised residents of Victorian towns, Tempy and Gypsum, to leave their homes as bushfire continues to threaten their safety. Trafalgar residents received warnings of bushfire moving fast in the area.  

Another bushfire was also seen near the town of Telopea Downs. Two bushfires had merged in the popular tourist spot Grampians National Park. Visitors were immediately told to leave and seek safe shelter.

Authorities have warned Australians of extreme fire weather in the coming days as the heat wave continues to scorch some parts of the country. The record-breaking temperatures prompt fears of bigger wildfires worse than 2009`s Black Saturday claiming the lives of 173 people.

A firestorm had burned entire villages in Victoria in 2009 and devastated 2,000 homes. The current heat wave has the potential to reportedly cause extreme fire weather. Acting State Premier Peter Ryan remarked the next four days will be crucial since the heat wave could trigger fires like those of Black Saturday.

Australians in Victoria and South Australia are advised to be ready within the week. The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted "severe to extreme heat wave conditions" with consecutive days of over 40 degrees Celsius.

The brutal heat wave in Australia shows no sign of letting up as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology predicts temperatures to soar over 40 degrees Celsius starting Jan. 14. According to the weather bureau, Melbourne and most of Victoria will experience extreme heat condition

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