Bushfires break out across Australia, destroy homes

Drought, early season heat and blustery winds set off blazes in Queensland and New South Wales.

Bushfires break out across Australia, destroying homes
Firefighters battle bushfires in northern New South Wales where up to 30 homes were destroyed [EPA]

Nearly 30 homes have been destroyed in bushfires which intensified in parts of Australia on Tuesday.

Fires in northern New South Wales (NSW) have been burning over the past few weeks.

In Queensland, fires forced people to evacuate from several towns on Tuesday.

Residents of Laidley, between Toowoomba and Brisbane, were allowed to return home on Wednesday after fire crews extinguished a blaze.

There are currently close to 40 ongoing bushfires across NSW and Queensland.

The fires have been boosted by the combination of a dry winter and a surge of hot air which have set new October temperature records in parts of NSW.

Forbes airport had a high of 38.3 Celsius on Sunday afternoon. By Monday, the heat shifted into Queensland.

Gatton, located to the west of Brisbane, came within one degree of the October record with a top temperature of 40.9C.

Severe to extreme fire danger ratings are forecast across parts of central and southern Queensland into NSW over the next few days.

However, there is some cooler weather on the way for the eastern parts of Australia.

Brisbane is expected to cool down from 36C on Tuesday to somewhere near the October average temperature of 27C.

That temperature could fall to around 22C by Saturday with welcome onshore showers forecast from Sydney to Townsville by the weekend.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies