Australia bushfires: Country braces for 'difficult day'

The American basketball player &mdash who is currently playing for the Illawarra Hawks an Australian professional basketball team &mdash has pledged one month of his National Basketball League salary to help victims of the fires according to a stateme

"The conditions are such that it is continuing to present a significant risk to the firefighters who are working hard to control the fires, and to anyone else in the vicinity", Country Fire Service chief Mark Jones said.

"We have heard the message loud and clear from the Australian people", Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Monday when asked about the poll result as he announced an A$50 million ($34.56 million) wildlife protection fund.

Despite cooler weather and rainfall providing some relief in some bushfire-affected areas this week, nearly 150 fires were still burning in worst-hit New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, the huge continent's most populated regions.

The tragedy brings the death toll to at least 27 in a crisis that has destroyed more than 2,000 homes and scorched an area larger than the USA state of in since September.

Opposition Environment and Water spokeswoman Terri Butler said the government had been forced to change its tune due to "furious public reaction" over its handling of climate change.

Morrison has been attacked for being slow to respond to an unprecedented crisis, even taking a family vacation in Hawaii while the fires burned.

It has been Australia's most destructive fire season ever.

"The Federal Government's climate change policies are sensible and they are proportional to our 1.3 per cent contribution to global emissions", Mr Pitt said.

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"If this BOM (Bureau of Metereology) rain forecast comes to fruition, then it will be all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary, wedding and graduation gifts, all in one".

In the fight against the flames, the volunteer fire department veteran Mick Stain found some moth larvae or "witch maggots" and roasted them directly on the burning coals of the fire, which is known in Australia as Bush Tucker.

The money will be targeted at threatened species including koalas and also be used to restore damaged animal habitats.

Morrison also announced that 76 million Australian dollars ($52 million) would be spent on providing psychological counselling for firefighters and fire-affected communities as part of a previously announced AU$2 billion ($1.4 billion) recovery fund.

"I feel very proud to work for an organization who is willing to stand up and take action on climate change", Glen Schlehuber, Tiffany & Co.'s vice president and managing director for Australia and New Zealand, told Australia's AdNews.

Dozens of other fires are yet to be controlled.

Forecasters have increased hopes that less severe in the next week or so could enable the authorities to consolidate containment lines about various fires that are likely to burn for weeks without heavy rainfall.

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