Fires ravaging Australia since September have left 24 people dead and destroyed some 80,000 square kilometeres of land - an area the size of Ireland or the USA state of SC.
The outpouring of frustration and rage from many Australians toward Prime Minister Scott Morrison's lethargic wildfire response has been likened to the furious reaction of Americans toward President George W. Bush over his clumsy response to Hurricane Katrina.
Dozens of vast blazes continue to burn out of control across the east of the country and there are growing fears that two fires in New South Wales and Victoria states could connect to form another uncontrollable mega-blaze.
More than 1 billion animals have perished in the fires since September, according to an estimation from professor Chris Dickman, who works in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney and has more than 30 years of experience in ecology and mammals. More arrests are expected. Their ranks can be stretched thin during the summer wildfire season, but officials can free them up during the winter to fight fires elsewhere. "Many forests will take decades to recover and the fires are worsening Australia's extinction crisis". They'll join 13 other firefighters from OR and Washington that are already on the ground in Australia.
The centre-left opposition Labor Party has made political capital from the crisis by promising more ambitious policies than the ruling conservative coalition to tackle climate change.
"I say to those who are delaying action on climate change: Look at the blood-red sky and '".
During an interview on British television earlier this week, junior government legislator Craig Kelly ruled out any link between forest fires and climate change, instead blaming drought and lack of controlled burning for reducing fuel consumption in rural areas.
Australia is the world's largest exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas, but Morrison rejected calls last month to downsize Australia's lucrative coal industry.