Australia fires: Troops called to tackle fires

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 3,000 troops will be deployed to help tackle raging bushfires across the country.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said this is the first time this has happened in Australia’s history.

Temperatures are expected to soar above 40C (104F) in parts of south-east Australia on Saturday. Officials warned that it is set to be a “dangerous day”.

Since September, fires in Australia have killed at least 23 people.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Mr Morrison told reporters: “We have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.”

Dozens of people are missing and some 1,500 homes have already been lost this fire season.

Mr Morrison also announced A$20m (£10m) has been allocated to lease four water bomber planes.

Authorities in south-east Australia are bracing for a weekend of high temperatures and strong winds, which are threatening to worsen bushfire conditions across the country. BBC