Australia to hold wide-ranging inquiry into disastrous bushfires

SYDNEY (HRNW) – Australia will hold a wide-ranging enquiry into the causes of recent bushfires that killed 33 people and razed an area the size of South Korea, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.

Australia has for months been battling hundreds of blazes that began in September – an unusually prolonged summer wildfire season that was fueled by three years of drought, which experts have attributed to climate change.

With firefighters now able to contain the several dozen fires still alight, Morrison said a six-month Royal Commission would investigate preparedness for future bushfires and the need for any changes to the law to clarify who is responsible for overseeing emergency authorities.

“This Royal Commission is looking at the practical things that must be done to keep Australians safe and safer for longer in hot dry summers – conditions in which Australians will live into the future,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney.

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