Australia is currently experiencing extreme heat, with temperatures reaching 47.8°C (118°F) in Sydney on Sunday, January 7.
Additionally, bushfires ravaged three southeastern states over the weekend, January 6-7, burning some 8000 hectares (19,800 acres) and destroying a number of houses. People living in rural areas in Victoria were evacuated by the authorities as firefighters struggled to control the flames amid strong winds. The Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology issued a fire weather warning for the Greater Hunter area, New South Wales, on January 8 at 04:00 (local time).
Bushfires have become relatively common this season following a dry winter.
Individuals in Australia are advised to follow local weather reports, stay well-hydrated (drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day and avoid alcohol) and to avoid spending time in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day (generally from noon to 16:00). Be especially on guard against symptoms of dehydration or heat stroke in young children and seniors, as they are particularly vulnerable. Do not hesitate to contact emergency services if necessary.
Individuals in vulnerable areas should prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan and activate the plan when told by the authorities. For further information, please visit the website of the New South Wales fire service.