Parts of Australia's east coast were hit by severe storms on Saturday, dousing some of the bushfires that have devastated the region for months but causing road closures and flash flooding.
Australian firefighters used a break from searing temperatures on Tuesday to strengthen containment lines around huge wildfires as the financial and environmental costs of the crisis mounted.
Bushfires have destroyed more than 4 million hectares (10 million acres) and new blazes are sparked almost daily by extremely hot and windy conditions and, most recently, dry lightning strikes created by the fires themselves.
"We need flooding rain to put these fires out. That's really what is going to stop it," said the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. "These will take many weeks to put out."
Strong winds stoked more than 100 fires across Australia's east coast on Tuesday, blanketing Sydney in hazardous smoke and prompting health warnings...
Australia endured its hottest month on record in January, with sweltering conditions expected to persist through April, the country's weather bureau said on Friday.The...