Dramatic Video Shows Dangerous Conditions Faced by NSW Firefighters Battling 'Unprecedented' Bushfires

Cheryl Sanders
November 8, 2019

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) said at least two houses were lost, although that number was expected to rise.

In some areas, residents were trapped and simply told to "seek shelter as it is too late to leave".

There were 15 blazes at the highest threat level on Friday evening, with more than 1,000 firefighters are fighting the blazes.

"To have 17 fires concurrently burning at emergency alert level is without precedent in the state of New South Wales", NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said in a briefing Friday.

"Despite this, there are still many hours of hard firefighting ahead for our crews".

This season, firefighters have been battling fires mainly in northern New South Wales, in the localities of Hillville - where more than 1,160 hectares of forest land have been charred - Torrington (18,000 hectares) and Crowdy Bay (2,000 hectares).

Tenterfield, Armidale, Clarence Valley, Port Macquarie, Nambucca and Kempsey are said to be the most affected areas.

Mr Fitzsimmons said preliminary reports and aerial vision showed "widespread" property damage across multiple fire grounds.

Firefighters battled hot and dry winds, with drought conditions contributing to the amount of fuel available for the fires to consume.

Temperatures peaked at 49.3C at Marble Bar in Western Australia on January 26, 2019.

Spring in Australia lasts from September to November, with summer taking place from December to February.

A blaze in the Woodford area of the Blue Mountains was also at emergency level but dropped back to watch and act.

In Queensland, people in several towns including Cooroibah and Tewantin, with a combined population of around 6,500, were told to leave by the state's fire and emergency services.

Experts estimated the bushfires have wiped out about half the koalas living on a coastal reserve in New South Wales.

Australia's east is being ravaged by a record number of intense bushfires in a dramatic start to the country's fire season, with scientists warning of worse to come.

Other reports by iNewsToday