120-degree Fahrenheit temperatures and extreme fire weather are the cause.
The air is super-heated and the bush fires continue to rage across Australia. See Thousands Told to Flee to Beaches.
As Americans, we don't have much knowledge about Australia. Kangaroos, cute little koala bears, former penal colony, etc. Perhaps, "Throw another shrimp on the barbie."
Much of the culture of Australia has to do with the ocean and water since the vast majority of people live near the Pacific Ocean shores. Still, there are people and infrastructure that connect the towns along the coasts. While wildland fires may be part of nature, this year's wildfire storms are at a whole new level. Fortunately for many, the beach and the water is one haven from the approach of wildfires ... but, they may return to total destruction of their homes.