Australia’s already severe bushfire season continues to intensify – catastrophic fire conditions have now spread to south Australia due to extreme heat and winds.
Yesterday [November 11] the south Victoria region issued a code red bushfire warning – signalling the worst possible bushfire conditions; while all mainland states and the northern territory had areas that exceeded 40 degrees celsius.
Fire and emergency crews are still battling 50 blazes in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland that have been burning throughout the month, and are preparing for a day of high fire danger today (November 21); already one million hectares of land have burned in NSW.
As of November 20, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has confirmed 1,107 claims update at A$115 million (US$78.3 million) from the November bushfires, with the numbers set to keep rising. The NSW and Queensland bushfires have seen a death toll of four and destroyed homes numbering in the hundreds.
Chris Dougherty, general manager at Westlawn Insurance Brokers, told InsuranceAsia News about the NSW bushfires: “These are the worst fires we have seen.”
The city of Sydney has seen a decline in air quality as its been inundated by bushfire smoke and haze.
Australia’s catastrophic bushfire started early this year. Just last month, the bushfires that affected NSW’s Rappville was also marked a catastrophe; fires destroyed over 115,000 hectares and insured losses are estimated at A$25 million (around US$17 million).
The state’s Bureau of Meteorology however, has frequently highlighted Australia’s high risk of longer and intensified bushfire seasons as a result of climate change’s contribution to extreme heat events in the country; last year, the country experienced its hottest summer on record.
For more on Australia’s unprecedented bushfires, click here.

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