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    Wild fires smoke haze, poor air quality suspend Australian Open practices

    Jan 14, 2020
    PHOTO: (Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies via AP)

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Smoke haze and poor air quality from wild fires temporarily suspended practice sessions for the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

    Tennis Australia said in a statement it hoped to get the qualifying tournament underway later Tuesday and that conditions onsite were improving and were being constantly monitored.

    It added that further decisions would be made using onsite data and in close consultation with its medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology, and scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency in Victoria state.

    Melbourne started the day with hazardous air pollution as smoke from wild fires in Victoria's east and in southern New South Wales drifted through the state.

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    The central business district, close to where Melbourne Park is located, recorded overnight hazardous levels of fine particles in the air and the EPA categorized the air quality as "very poor."

    Firefighters in the region spent the night being called out to fire alarms triggered by the smoke haze.

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    PHOTO: (Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies via AP)
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