News in brief
Australia capital airport closed
SYDNEY, Jan 23: Bushfires near the Australian capital Canberra forced the city's airport to close on Thursday, as passenger flights were halted to make way for aircraft working to extinguish the blazes, authorities said.
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.
Since September the country has been battling an unprecedented wave of fires that have devastated communities and wildlife.
Flights to and from Australia's capital were suspended around midday (0100 GMT) Thursday "to allow for aviation firefighting operations", a Canberra Airport spokesperson said. -AFP