Australian bushfires spread to Sydney suburb

World | 12 Nov 2019 6:09 pm

Sydney in Australia was dragged into the New South Wales bushfire crisis this afternoon when two emergency warnings were issued in a leafy suburb on the city's North Shore.

And tonight firefighters in the Greater Sydney and Greater Hunter regions are bracing for 90kph winds from a "southerly buster" that started moving through the Sydney region about 7:00pm, ABC News reports.

The strong winds are expected to hamper firefighting efforts and move up towards Port Macquarie, where a number of the emergency-level blazes are burning, later this evening.

As of 8:00pm, emergency warnings remained in place for 11 blazes burning around the state.

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said firefighters had been battling 300 new fires today, and early estimates were that up to a dozen homes had been damaged or destroyed.

There are no people unaccounted for, which he said was "most pleasing".

He said the state had benefitted from the fact that the earlier winds had not persisted for as long as initially forecast, and the existing smoke layer across northern NSW had served as an "insulation blanket" against encroaching winds.

Two emergency-level bushfires were burning this afternoon just north of Macquarie University in South Turramurra, only 15 kilometres from the CBD, but were later downgraded.

A fire was burning intensely in bushland halfway between the university and Sydney Adventist Hospital before a water bomber dropped pink fire retardant over the area and turned several houses pink.

Catastrophic fire danger warnings are in place across the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions.

The other emergency-level fires were across Bretti, Mares Run, Torrington, Hillville, Willi Willi, Carrai Creek, Stockyard East, Buckra Bendinni, Bora Ridge, Gospers Mountain and large areas of Clarence Valley.

 

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