Wildfires – Australia

More than 2,000 firefighters are battling bushfires, which escalated in intensity late on Thursday. Authorities confirmed three fires had merged into a “mega blaze” north of Sydney on Friday, covering more than 300,000 hectares. That blaze is about the size of greater Sydney, officials said.

Australia’s largest city has been blanketed by thick smoke all week, causing a rise in medical problems.

Since October, bushfires have killed six people and destroyed more than 700 homes across Australia. The severity of the blazes so early in the fire season has caused alarm, and prompted calls for greater action to tackle climate change.

Australia’s bushfires have turned New Zealand’s glaciers red

Now, the Australian bushfire effects are being felt as far as New Zealand, as new images show that ash and smoke particles have travelled across the Tasman Sea, covering New Zealand’s Southern Alps in a layer of pink and red dust.

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