Thousands of tourists risked being stranded in Australia's south east Monday, as a new heatwave left firefighters across the country bracing for another round of potentially catastrophic bushfire.
Parts of Australia's east coast were hit by severe storms on Saturday, dousing some of the bushfires that have devastated the region for months but causing road closures and flash flooding.
Violent hailstorms and damaging winds hit parts of New South Wales state including bushfire-affected coastal towns on Monday, but hot and windy conditions are forecast to return to many parts of NSW later in the week.
The skyscraper lit up with the statement "We can all help" and the hashtag MatesHelpMates to show support for Australia.
Optimism was further boosted on Tuesday with heavy rain forecast for some of the hotspots in the most populated eastern states of New South Wales and Victoria.
Families grieving for lost homes and loved ones, burned koalas rescued from charred forests: The devastation of Australia's bushfire crisis has tainted the country's reputation as a safe and alluring holiday destination.
Late wildlife conservationist and television personality Steve Irwin's family has put in a group effort to help over 90,000 animals in Australia.
Roads were closed and the authorities told people to leave or stay away from suburbs east of Canberra, as photos posted on social media showed grey smoke billowing above the city's suburbs. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said authorities lost contact with the Canada-owned C-130 Hercules aircraft, which was operating in the Snowy Monaro region, shortly before 1:30pm (0230 GMT) on Thursday.