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As 'Unparalleled' Bushfires Ravage Australia, Calls to 'Connect the Dots'

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

A state of emergency has been declared in the eastern Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) as the worst bushfires in decades have destroyed hundreds of homes and prompted calls for urgent action on climate change.

The Associated Press reports that there are "68 fires still burning - 22 of them out of control," and hot, dry and windy conditions in the days ahead pose ongoing threats.

"We are talking wind strengths starting at 25 to 30 kilometers [over 15 to over 18 mph] and gusting up to 50, 60 and right up to - as the days roll on - wind strengths of 70 to 100 kilometers per hour [43 to 62 mph] across these fireground areas," said NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

"We've got what would be unparalleled in terms of risk and exposure for the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury communities throughout this week," he told reporters.

"If you are to draw a parallel, and it's always dangerous to draw a parallel, at best you'd be going back to time periods in the late 60s."  

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