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A helicopter water-bombing a bushfire at Northmead in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday morning local time. Photo: Jenny Evans/Getty Images

Scores of bushfires are threatening parts of Australia during a record heat wave — including an out-of-control blaze that prompted evacuations in Sydney Sunday and another fire ravaging the popular Queensland tourist destination of Fraser Island.

Why it matters: New South Wales' fire chief Shane Fitzsimmons told Channel 9 Sunday it's the "worst day" for fires since last season's deadly "Black Summer" bushfires, when temperature records were broken across Australia — including in Sydney, which reported its hottest November night this weekend.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • The NSW state capital recorded a low of 77.5°F over Saturday night.
  • Another November record was reached in Sydney Sunday, when temperatures rose above 104°F for a second straight day, per the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

The big picture: Firefighters in New South Wales were battling 45 fires across Australia's most populous state amid searing heat and strong winds, per an NSW Rural Fire Service statement.

  • In the western Sydney suburb of Northmead, families were evacuated as the bushfire burned "dangerously close" to homes, Channel 9 reports.
  • A total fire ban was in effect across nine areas of NSW for the duration of Sunday.

On Fraser Island, off Australia's east coast in the state of Queensland, a bushfire has torn across 40% of the World Heritage-listed destination as it nears two popular tourist spots, News.com.au notes.

For the record: Bourke, Ulladulla, Albion Park and Albury were among other NSW towns to record highest November minimums over Saturday night.

In Victoria, November maximum temperature records were set Saturday in the towns of Mildura, where it hit 114°F, and Walpeup, which reached 113°F.

South Australia also reported new November records in the towns of Yunta (112°F) and Coober Pedy (almost 115°F), according to the BOM.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Flashback: Australia fires cause "widespread devastation across the ecosystem"

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the temperature records.

Go deeper

Dec 2, 2020 - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Biden pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% by 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden seen in the Oval Office on April 15. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is moving to address global warming by setting a new, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Why it matters: The new, non-binding target, is about twice as ambitious as the previous U.S. target of a 26 to 28% cut by 2025, which was set during the Obama administration. White House officials described the goal as ambitious but achievable during a call with reporters Tuesday night.

Exclusive: Chauvin trial prosecution worked with strategic communications firm

People gather at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue to celebrate the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

For most of the past year, a strategic communications firm with deep Washington ties has played an integral role for the prosecution in the State of Minnesota v. Derek Chauvin — operating without pay and so under-the-radar that most of its own staff had no idea.

The big picture: Finsbury Glover Hering — formerly known as the Glover Park Group — has been conducting media monitoring and analysis as part of legal team special prosecutor Neal Katyal's vision for a three-pronged "modern appeal/trial strategy."