Over hundred bushfires raging in Australia

Cheryl Sanders
December 7, 2019

"We've been enacting fire plans for weeks in preparation", Ms Waterman told AAP.

The extent of the crisis was made clear on Thursday, with the New South Wales department of environment declaring bushfires and dust had caused "some of the highest air pollution ever seen" in Australia.

"This event, however, is the longest and the most widespread in our records".

New South Wales rural fire chief Shane Fitzsimmons said Friday that some United States and Canadian firefighters had arrived to help out, easing the strain on the exhausted largely volunteer Australian force.

"Yesterday we saw up over 3,000 people deployed across fire grounds trying to bring these things under control and trying to save as much and as many people as they can", he added.

"They have the potential or are expected to spread further east, which unfortunately is getting into more populated areas, villages, communities, isolated rural areas, and other farming practices and businesses throughout the region", Fitzsimmons told reporters in Sydney.

Emergency warnings are also current for the nearby Wrights Creek blaze west of Kulnara, the Kerry Ridge fire in the Wollemi National Park and the Meads Creek West fire in the Goulburn River National Park.

"The video was put up to demonstrate why you need to listen to the fire advisory system", the team from Ingleburn fire station said on Facebook.

Soaring temperatures and gusty westerly winds will see fires threatening properties across NSW today.

In a wildlife park in the area, 300 animals were evacuated.

"This fire has been doing some insane things, so we have to be prepared", general manager Tassin Barnard told AFP news agency. According to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, it is a very hard for the firefighters to control such large scale fires that are now impacting the citizens and communities residing in the city.

The specialists are expected to supervise waterbombing planes and heavy equipment used in creating fire containment lines.

"They are volunteering to sacrifice time from loved ones, from families, to give up that special time of the year around Christmas and New Year to come down here and lend us a hand", he said.

"I think the really hard thing is the amount of fire people have seen since the beginning of August how much fire we've had in the northern part of NSW - well we've just replicated that in the central part of the state as well as still having the north going so it's quite extraordinary conditions".

That is much less than the recent deadliest fire season in Australia in 2009, when almost 200 people died, but the number of victims so far in 2019 belies the scale of devastation.

Fitzsimmons said he could not "overstate the effect that this profound drought is having" as he warned of a long, painful summer ahead.

A dense and eerie fog of smoke and flying ash has lingered over Australia's biggest city for most of the past week, obscuring visibility and prompting commuters to wear breathing masks.

"You are seeing fires start very easily and they are spreading extremely quickly and they are burning ridiculously intensely".

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