"This will be all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary, wedding and graduation presents rolled into one," it said Monday on Twitter
. "Fingers crossed."
Haze blankets Melbourne
The fires that have swept through Victoria and New South Wales all summer are
some of the most powerful and damaging conflagrations Australia has seen in decades.
At least 28 people have died nationwide, and in the state of New South Wales (NSW) alone, more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. State and federal authorities are struggling to contain the massive blazes, even with firefighting assistance from other countries, including the United States.
All this has been exacerbated by persistent heat and drought caused by climate change. Tens of thousands of people participated in protests around the country last week
calling on the government to do more to combat the climate crisis.
The situation is already dire. Significant amounts of flora and fauna unique to Australia have been burned or killed. One group of ecologists estimated that perhaps a billion animals
have been affected nationwide. Some towns have been running out of water
. Others have gone up in flames completely.
Major cities like Sydney and Melbourne have been spared from the worst damage, but have still been affected.
Both were blanketed in haze from the fires, though the rain appears to be clearing some of it out. Smoke has already affected the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, with officials canceling some of the practices. Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic was forced to retire
after having trouble breathing.
In recent years, extreme temperatures have made for tough conditions at tennis' first Grand Slam of the calendar year -- some competitors collapsed or complained of heatstroke at the 2018 event.