By: Nadeemy Haded

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended his leadership and his government's record on climate change, while moderate temperatures brought some hope for calm forest fires that swept through three states, killing 24 people and destroying nearly two thousand homes.

Morrison faced widespread criticism for spending a family vacation in Hawaii at the start of the massive fire crisis, and his approach that seemed dispersed as the crisis escalated, slowed down the spread of resources.

Morrison was criticized last week when he visited a town in New South Wales where homes were destroyed, and was the residence of one of three volunteer firefighters who have died in the crisis so far.

And Saturday, Morrison announced that for the first time in Australian history, 3,000 reservists from the Army, Navy and Air Force will be deployed in the battle against fires, and $ 14 million has been earmarked for the rental of firefighting aircraft from abroad, the Associated Press reported.

But Morrison's decisions attracted complaints that it took a long time to act, while millions of hectares of fire came in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, an area twice the size of the US state of Maryland.

"A lot of people have been blamed," Morrison told reporters at Sunday's conference. "Now is the time to focus on the response being done ... Blame does not help anyone at this time, over-analyzing these matters is not productive."

Some have cited earlier comments from Morrison, who seemed to reduce the link between climate change and Australia's escalating threats of drought and wildfires.

Morrison added: "I have to correct things here. I have seen a number of people suggesting that the government does not establish this association in one way or another. The government has always worked on this association and this has never been a matter of contention."

Sunday's low temperatures and milder winds allayed the fears of threatened communities, one day after thousands were forced to flee as flames reached the outskirts of Sydney's outskirts.

Source agencies

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