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  • Australia: Bushfires in the tropics: Queensland faces terrifying new reality

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Australia: Bushfires in the tropics: Queensland faces terrifying new reality

Source(s):  Guardian, the (UK)

By Ben Smee


Paul Gray, a representative of the Queensland Firefighters’ Union, says the nature of bushfires has noticeably changed in recent years. The fires, he says, have become more intense and longer-lasting. Last week conditions in parts of Queensland were classified “catastrophic” for the first time. The rating has only existed since 2009, but no bushfire in the state since 1966, when warnings were first introduced, would have been considered so dangerous.


Australia’s devastating bushfires typically occur far to the south of the tropical Queensland rainforest.

But Gray says the fire season in the north now lasts longer. That means a diminishing timeframe to allow emergency services to change track from firefighting to battling cyclones and floodwaters, which historically have caused many more deaths and wider destruction in Queensland.


“Climate change is about unprecedented conditions becoming more probable,” says the climate scientist Lesley Hughes. “What was normal on average 20 years ago is not normal or average now. If you’re getting unprecedented conditions, that’s what climate scientists have been warning about.”


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  • Publication date 04 Dec 2018

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