On January 21, BHP Billiton, a mining giant, said smoke from the Australian fire had caused a serious decline in air quality and had a serious impact on local coal production. Authorities have warned that the fire could get worse in the next few days. BHP Billiton pointed out that since September last year, New South Wales, Australia, has been surrounded by a raging fire, which has now burned a third of Germany's land area and gradually threatened Australia, the fourteenth largest economy in the world. Australia's tourism and insurance industries expect the blaze to cost Australia a $1 billion ($687 million) each. "Regional forest fires and dust fumes have severely affected local air quality, resulting in a decline in coal production in December 2019." BHP said in its latest trade announcement. "If air quality continues to deteriorate, operating performance in the second half of the financial year (January June 2020) may be further constrained." BHP said.
Since September last year, fires in Australia have killed 29 people and millions of animals, destroyed more than 2500 homes and destroyed 11 million hectares of land. Despite recent thunderstorms and rain, dozens of fires remain on the east coast of Australia. Delays from the fire have spread to other parts of Australia, where two of Australia's largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, were once smog ridden, with air quality ratings of the world's worst. The local weather bureau predicted that the temperature in Victoria would rise on January 22, and the strong wind might lead to a new fire. On January 21, the NSW Rural Fire Department released a higher fire risk rating on the southern coast of the state. In addition, NSW also said that subsidies for primary producers affected by the fire would increase from the previous $15000 to $75000. "Increasing subsidies as soon as possible will allow affected communities to focus on rebuilding and repairing critical facilities while livestock are being treated and much-needed feed purchased." Adam Marshall, Australia's agriculture minister, said.
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