Bushfires in eastern Australia have killed at least two people and displaced thousands with firefighters struggling to put out widespread blazes, AFP reported on Saturday November 9th.
The bushfires were unprecedented and raged across Australia's most populous state. Fire officials say there were nearly 100 active fires in New South Wales (NSW) on Friday November 8th, with dozens reaching out of control status.
The catastrophic fires have forced the government to think about calling in the army to help some 1,300 firefighters who are tackling around 100 separate blazes, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Skies were bright orange over coastal towns in NSW on Friday, and smoke and ash from the wildfires covered Sydney with a gloomy haze.
As of Saturday, 100 NSW homes had been destroyed and two people were missing, according to the state's Rural Fire Service.
Bushfires are common in Australia and a high number of firefighters had already been tackling sporadic blazes for months in the lead-up to summer in the southern hemisphere.
Climate change has stirred fears of more devastating fires in the future as it was a dramatic start to what scientists predict will be a potentially dangerous fire season.
The unfavourable weather cycles which help to create a tinderbox of strong winds, low humidity and high temperatures are factors which assist fires to spread in unexpected ways.
Rainfall last month was extremely low across New South Wales and other parts of Australia, with some regions recording their driest October ever. The nation's Bureau of Meteorology says this trend will continue until the end of the year.