Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologized for taking a vacation in Hawaii amid raging wildfires across his country.
“If you had your time over again and you had the benefit of hindsight, we would have made different decisions,” Morrison told reporters Sunday morning while visiting the headquarters of the Rural Fire Service in Sydney, according to The Associated Press.
“I am sure Australians are fair-minded and understand that when you make a promise to your kids you try and keep it,” Morrison said.
“But as prime minister, you have other responsibilities, and I accept that and I accept the criticism,” he added.
Morrison cut his family vacation short after public criticism of his absence during the crisis, the AP noted.
Morrison also reportedly brushed off suggestions that the wildfires plaguing New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are directly linked to climate change.
“There is no argument ... about the links between broader issues of global climate change and weather events around the world,” he said, according to the AP. “But I’m sure people equally would acknowledge that the direct connection to any single fire event — it’s not a credible suggestion to make that link.”
Australia hit its hottest average day in history last Tuesday, averaging a maximum of 40.9 degrees Celsius, or about 105.6 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.