- Scott Morrison: Prime Minister of Australia apologizes after going on vacation to Hawaii while fires devour the country
- Oeanía: Fires devastate more than half a million hectares in Australia
- Criticisms: Australian fires heat up the climate crisis debate
- Australia: Emotional tribute to one of the firefighters killed in the fires
The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, admitted on Sunday that mistakes have been made in the management of forest fires that devastate the country and over which he has received strong criticism .
"There are things that could have been handled much better on the ground," acknowledged the prime minister in an interview with the public television network ABC where he also announced that a public investigation on fire response will be launched. His words coincide with the death of a firefighter while working on extinction work and which brings the number of deaths since the beginning of fires in the country to 27.
Morrison said it is "necessary" to launch a fire investigation commission and acknowledged the exasperation of the population by fires that have destroyed an area the size of South Korea or Portugal, and surround Sydney with smoke. They have razed an area of more than 8 million hectares.
The apology of the questioned Prime Minister comes after Friday thousands of people demonstrated in several cities in Australia to request his resignation in addition to demanding more government means against climate change and to fight forest fires, which have already left the minus 27 dead and thousands of burned houses.
Morrison, which has become a defender of polluting industries such as coal and has refused to link the climate crisis with the worsening of forest fires, has been the subject of numerous criticisms in recent weeks.
The conservative prime minister was very questioned about going on vacation without notifying Hawaii (USA) in the middle of a crisis before Christmas and during his visits to the affected areas he has seen firsthand the rejection of some neighbors who have refused to shake hands and even insulted him.
Regarding his policies to deal with the effects of the climate crisis, Morrison said during the interview that "the Government will continue its efforts to achieve the objectives" of reducing emissions, without specifying more.
A 60-year-old firefighter died fighting fire in southeastern Australia, a command of this body announced, bringing the number of people killed since the fires in the country to at least 27.
This firefighter was "involved in an incident while working against a fire around Omeo, which caused his death," said Chris Hardman, head of forest firefighters in the state of Victoria. It is believed that he received the impact of a tree .
Therefore the balance of victims has risen despite the fact that temperatures have cooled , allowing firefighters to carry out firewalls and strengthen the containment lines of the flames.
Linked to a severe drought, these fires are aggravated by global warming. Scientists have long predicted that the recurrence of these extreme weather events will get worse.
2019 was the warmest and driest year in Australia since data is available. December 18 was the hottest day, with a national maximum average of 41.9 ° C.
Since they started last September, it is estimated that up to one billion wild animals could have died, while the dry and fire season continues.
After several critical days due to the high temperatures, a colder climate has been forecast in the next week, which could give a truce to the firefighters fighting the devastating fires throughout the country.
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