‘Sorry’ Australian PM Scott Morrison: I could have handled fires crisis better

Video shows hundreds of animals died trying to flee Australia fires

Video shows hundreds of animals died trying to flee Australia fires

The Australian, a major newspaper in the country, on Monday published the results of a poll of 1,500 people conducted between Wednesday and Saturday of last week.

In response to criticism of his government's actions on climate from former fire chiefs and others, Morrison has said that his government plans to "evolve" its climate policy and set more ambitious targets for reduction of carbon emissions.

Here are key events in the crisis: * Since October, thousands of Australians have been subjected to repeat evacuations as huge and unpredictable fires scorched more than 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres), an area roughly the size of South Korea.

Authorities confirmed on Monday that 11.2 million hectares (27.7 million acres) of land had been razed in fires that have been burning for months, whipped by erratic winds and temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

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

The poll was taken after Morrison announced a A$2 billion bushfire recovery fund and called out 3,000 army reservists to back up state emergency workers - responses that were viewed as belated.

"Australia has measurably warmed by more than a degree".

Cooler weather conditions over the weekend have brought a temporary respite, but a firefighter died on duty in Victoria, where new flames sparked.

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Satellite image shows a close-up of fires at Honeysuckle Point, New South Wales, Australia, taken on January 12, 2020.

New South Wales (NSW) firefighters said they finally had the upper hand in the fight against the vast Gospers Mountain fire on Sydney's north-western outskirts, which has been burning for nearly three months.

"Fire weather occurs naturally, but is becoming increasingly serious and widespread due to climate change", said Professor Richard Betts, a co-author of the paper, and head of climate impact research at the Met Office Hadley Center.

The wildfires now ravaging Australia are "unprecedented" according to analysis by the World Resources Institute, which found there were about four times more fire alerts in 2019 than in any other year in the past two decades.

Westpac estimated total bushfire losses to date at about 3.4 billion USA dollars higher than the 2009 bushfires in Victoria.

About 100 firefighters from the United States and Canada are helping, with another 140 expected in coming weeks.

Smoke has drifted across the Pacific, affecting cities in South America, and may have reached the Antarctic, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization said.

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