Floods and fires spread across Australia

State authorities began airlifting food, medical supplies and mail to communities isolated by floods in Australia's north on Friday, while dozens of bush fires burned across the southeast of the vast continent. Floodwaters are spread across two areas covering about 150,000 sq. km - an area almost twice the size of Scotland. Some small communities across the remote tropical north of Queensland state have been isolated by wet season floods for up to six weeks. Record rainfall of 903.3 millimetres in December had cut off about 2,460 people around Burketown, about 1,800 km northwest of Brisbane near the Gulf of Carpentaria. Sydney woke on Friday to a blanket of smoke haze caused by small scrub fires north of the country's most populous city. More than 100 volunteer fire-fighters worked through the night to put out the fires, which burned about 480 hectares (1,186 acres) of bush land, Reuters reports.