Australia’s most populous state declares wildfire emergency

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December 19, 2019 - 10:16 AM

Firefighters take a break in smoke while battling bushfires near Taree, New South Wales, Australia. (Bai Xuefei/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS)

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales declared a seven-day state of emergency today as oppressive conditions fanned around 100 wildfires.

Around 2,000 firefighters were battling the blazes, half of which remain uncontrolled, with the support of U.S. and Canadian backup teams and personnel from the Australian Defence Force.

The last state of emergency ran for seven days in mid-November amid “catastrophic” fire risk and was the first implemented in New South Wales since 2013. Central Sydney reached a maximum of 102 Fahrenheit on Thursday, while outer suburbs scorched at 108 F.

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