At least 81 homes have been destroyed in the out-of-control bushfire at the Perth Hills on the eastern fringes of Australia’s fourth-biggest city.
More than 200 firefighters have been battling the flames as weather officials warned climate conditions were unlikely to bring quick relief.
Around 150 firefighters were expected to work overnight into Sunday to bring the 80-100 hectare blaze under control, says the Department of Fire and Emergency Services District.
The fires that began early morning on Sunday in the famed Napa-Sonoma wine country north of San Francisco came on the third anniversary of deadly wildfires that erupted in 2017, including one that killed 22 people.
Bushfires in Australia have killed 33 people and about 1 billion animals since September, while 2,500 homes and an area the size of Greece have been destroyed.
The victims were US residents, Australian authorities said, adding that they did not immediately know why the C-130 Hercules air tanker crashed while carrying a load of fire retardant.
High temperatures and strong winds fuelled an outbreak of new blazes across several areas in eastern Australia on Thursday, ending a period of respite following several days of rains and cooler weather.
As authorities warned that a days-long respite from high fire danger was coming to an end, economists said the cost to Australia’s $1.33 trillion economy could be as high as $3.4 billion.
Fears of smoke from the fires disrupting the Australian Open tennis receded in Melbourne, where the main tournament was due to start on Monday.
Months of drought that have contributed to Australia's catastrophic bushfire season have this week given way to huge downpours in some of the blaze-ravaged areas.
Tens of thousands rally across the country to demand PM Scott Morrison's conservative government cut back on fossil fuels, as deadly climate-fuelled bushfires burn out of control.
Tennis players from across the world, sparked in part by a call to action from tennis player Nick Kyrgios, have pledged to donate $139 (A$200) to the cause every time they serve an ace.
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