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Australia's deadly fires: What you need to know

The Australian flag flies under red skies from fires on Jan. 4 in Bruthen, Victoria. Photos: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The Orroral Valley fire has burned through nearly 25% of the district that's home to Australia's capital, News.com.au reports, after ACT Emergency Controller Georgeina Whelan said the fire was rapidly growing into the south east on Saturday.

The latest: The Orroral fire grew from 81,544 acres to at least 129,073 acres on Saturday, based on Whelan's initial statement, and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr's following estimate. Whelan said the Orroral fire is expected to move "well into" New South Wales, which creates potential for it to reach and merge with other bushfires in the area.

The future of firefighting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The world is entering the age of extreme fire — and we're increasingly unprepared for it.

The big picture: As we've seen in Australia, California and the Amazon, fires are burning hotter, longer and more frequently around the world. Our resources to suppress them are stretched dangerously thin. And even though the wildfires are getting worse, the way we fight them hasn't changed in a century.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020

Thousands of koalas likely dead in Australia fires

Photo: Nathan Edwards/Getty Images

Thousands of koalas are believed to have died as fires ravage Australia, burning 12.35 million acres so far, AP reports.

Why it matters: Abut 30% of their habitat has already been lost. The fire danger increased in the country's east on Saturday as temperatures continue to rise, per AP.

Go deeper... In photos: Catastrophic wildfires rage across Australia

Keep ReadingArrowDec 28, 2019