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Weather ‘merry-go-round’ poses new risks for fire-ravaged Australia

SYDNEY – A “merry-go-round” of extreme weather was hampering efforts by firefighters in Australia to tackle unprecedented bush fires that have killed at least 29 people and devastated vast swathes of the country.

Parts of the country welcomed heavy rainfall overnight, but authorities warned on Tuesday (Jan 21) that storms were bringing added complications, and the fire-danger risk could be elevated in the coming days.

“It has been a merry-go-round of weather over the last few days,” the Bureau of Meteorology’s Mr Kevin Parkin said.

“We have gone from fires and storms and floods, and giant hail – the size of limes… producing widespread damage – to fire danger escalating on our doorstep,” the senior meteorologist added.

The country has suffered a collision of extreme climate events in the past week, with storms, lightning, thunder and hail battering areas in the fire-hit east.

The bush fire season has been made worse by climate change, experts say.

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