Massive dust storms engulfed towns in Australia's New South Wales, Sunday, January 19, in an area devastated by wildfires over the past month.
READ MORE: The bushfire crisis in Australia has prompted questions about how the world’s driest inhabited continent can fight future blazes in a warmer and still drier climate. Indigenous leaders say that ‘cultural burning techniques’ can help the country become more resilient to wildfires.
A “cultural burn” can also rejuvenate flora, protect native animal habitat and strengthen spiritual ties to the land. Practitioners say Indigenous fire plans, different from other widely used hazard reduction burns, would help to prevent a repeat of this summer’s devastating blazes in Australia.
Heavy rain has fallen across much of southeastern Australia. For the first time in weeks fewer than 100 bushfires are burning in the states of New South Wales and Victoria. But officials warn the danger is not over, with more hot and windy weather expected later this week.
30 people have died in the fires since September, more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed and an area of land almost the size of England has been scorched.
The disaster has been made worse by record temperatures, a long drought and climate change.