As Australia braces for what is being called one of the most extreme fire risk days ever in New South Wales today, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has made the clear link with climate change. She has warned Australians of the high bushfire risk and highlighted global climate change as the probably cause.
She urged residents in vulnerable bush areas to decide in advance whether to attempt to save their homes, if fire strikes, or opt to evacuate.
"This is the time to be vigilant," Gillard said.
Sydney is forecast to reach 43 degrees Celsius today (Tuesday ) and that will be the third hottest day recorded in the city for 150 years. There are already ninety bushfires burning. Most of these are around Canberra, south of Sydney and twenty of these are out of control. Firefighters in their thousands have been put on alert and 70 aircraft are also on standby.