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Thunderstorms, showers may help crews battle Australia wildfires

APTOPIX Australia Wildfires
Posted at 10:13 AM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 10:20:12-05

CANBERRA, Australia — Thunderstorms and showers have brought some relief for firefighters battling deadly wildfires across Australia’s drought-parched east coast on Wednesday.

But the storms have also raised concerns that more fires will be sparked by lightning strikes when hot and windy conditions return.

Fire officials say 2,300 firefighters in New South Wales state are making the most of relatively benign conditions by frantically consolidating containment lines around more than 110 fires blazes and patrolling for lightning strikes.

The unprecedented fire crisis has killed 26 people, with the latest death a Victoria state firefighter who was working to extinguish unattended campfires.