Australia fires: PM Morrison apologises for US holiday amid crisis

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised for going on holiday in Hawaii this week while the nation’s bushfire crisis worsened.
Fires are raging across the nation amid a heat wave which has produced the nation’s two hottest days on record.
Two volunteer firefighters died on Thursday while fighting a huge blaze near Sydney, while a civilian died in South Australia on Friday.
Mr Morrison said he would end his leave early.
His absence this week, as well as his initial refusal to confirm his whereabouts, has drawn condemnation and protests.
“I deeply regret any offence caused to any of the many Australians affected by the terrible bushfires by my taking leave with family at this time,” he said on Friday.
Australia’s bushfire emergency has killed eight people, destroyed more than 700 houses and scorched millions of hectares since September.
More than 100 fires broke out in South Australia amid “catastrophic” conditions on Friday, while New South Wales (NSW) is bracing for similar conditions on Saturday.
Tributes have been paid to Geoffrey Keating, 32, and Andrew O’Dwyer, 36, who died when their truck was hit by a falling tree near a fire front, causing it to roll off the road.
Three other firefighters who were also in the vehicle survived with minor injuries.
NSW fire commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said firefighters everywhere were grieving over the “huge loss” of the two young fathers, who were caught up in “the worst imaginable set of circumstances”.