Instead of focusing on rebuilding the country after years of state capture, we were distracted by a sideshow, writes Mandy Wiener.
Mostly sunny. Mild.
From plants to animals, photos show how budding life is returning to the scorched region.
A secret operation by specialist firefighters has saved the world's last stand of Wollemi Pines, a pre-historic species known as "dinosaur trees", from Australia's unprecedented bushfires, officials have said.
When volunteer Sarah Price found a baby kangaroo frightened but miraculously alive in the pouch of its dying mother surrounded by the embers of Australia's bushfires, it seemed fitting to name him Chance.
The bushfires raging across Australia have had a devastating impact on the country's unique flora and fauna, with some estimates putting the death toll at nearly half a billion animals in one state alone, and experts believe it could take decades for
The Australian military says it has begun seaborne evacuation of hundreds of people trapped in a fire-ringed southeastern town, as the country braces for yet more catastrophic conditions.
Some of the decade's most important events were documented in remarkably detailed images from orbiting space satellites.
Australia this week experienced its hottest day on record and the heatwave is expected to worsen, exacerbating an already unprecedented bushfire season, authorities said on Wednesday.
More than 100 fires ablaze in New South Wales and Victoria states as temperatures top 40 degrees Celsius in some areas.
Several Australian bushfires have combined to form a "mega fire" that is burning out of control across a swathe of land north of Sydney, authorities said Friday, warning they cannot contain the blaze.
Californian officials are warning that "historic and extreme" wind conditions are set to fan raging wildfires in the north of the state, as millions of residents face power cuts.
A "merry-go-round" of extreme weather has been hampering efforts by firefighters in Australia to tackle unprecedented bushfires that have killed at least 29 people and devastated vast swathes of the country.
Rain fell across parts of bushfire-ravaged eastern Australia and more wet weather was forecast, giving some relief following months of catastrophic blazes fuelled by climate change.
Australia is in the midst of its worst wildfire season in history. The resulting smoke plume from the current blazes stretches 1.3 billion acres.
Australia's fires have lasted for months, burned millions of acres, and belched out a smoke plume that could cover half of Europe.
Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were forced to flee to beaches in fire-ravaged southeast Australia Tuesday, as blazes ripped through popular tourist areas leaving no escape by land.
Two Australian firefighters were killed and three injured when their truck crashed as they battled out-of-control blazes in New South Wales state, officials said Friday.
The current period of poor air quality in New South Wales is both the "longest" and "most widespread" on record.
Out of control bushfires forced residents in eastern Australia to flee their homes on Saturday, as other parts of the country braced for a heatwave due next week.
A new wildfire in California grew to nearly 9,000 acres (3,700 hectares) on Friday, sending thousands of people fleeing and further stretching resources in a state struggling with a spate of wildfires this season.
Wildfires raged across California on Friday, destroying homes and forcing evacuations, as over 1,000 firefighters tackled flames in the southern part of the state alone.
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