World Rally Championship: Rally Australia cancelled due to bushfires

Australia bushfires
A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales

The final round of the World Rally Championship has been cancelled because of the threat of "catastrophic" bushfires in Australia.

Rally Australia was due to take place this weekend in New South Wales.

Three people have died and more than 150 properties have been destroyed in the state since Friday.

Organisers said they had taken the decision "considering the best interests and safety of everyone involved".

A seven-day state of emergency has been declared with authorities warning that fires will spread quickly amid hot temperatures and strong winds.

Rally Australia event chairman Andrew Papadopoulos added: "Our thoughts are with the NSW community, especially the people who have lost loved ones, livelihoods and homes as a result of the fires in northern NSW, and we thank the rally community for your support and understanding."

Estonia's Ott Tanak
Estonia's Ott Tanak won the drivers' championships in Spain

The drivers' championship had already been decided at the previous round in Spain, with Estonia's Ott Tanak taking his maiden title.

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