Australia’s fire-ravaged Victoria state faces yet more devastation as renewed bushfires creep closer to Melbourne, the nearest a mere 40 kilometers from the city.
Firefighters are battling three major blazes to the east and north-west of the state capital. Authorities warn that communities are at risk due to blistering temperatures, hot winds and bone dry conditions. Hundreds of residents have been evacuated under the “stay or go” bushfire policy. The latest blazes come two weeks after firestorms tore through the state, killing 210 people, razing more than 2,000 homes and destroying some one million acres of land. Meanwhile, the country’s biggest arson investigation continues. One man has already been charged with starting one of the blazes and police suspect arson in a least one other case.