Aussie PM defends response to fires; weather brings respite

(AP) Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended his leadership and his government’s record on climate change as milder temperatures brought hope of a respite from wildfires that have ravaged three Australian states, claiming 24 lives.

Morrison has faced widespread criticism for taking a family vacation at the start of the crisis, his sometimes distracted approach as it has escalated and his slowness in deploying resources. He told a news conference it was not the time for blame.

As dawn broke over a blackened landscape Sunday, a picture emerged of disaster of unprecedented scale. The Rural Fire Service says 150 fires are still active in the state, 64 of them uncontrolled.

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