'Huge amount of fire': Bush fires in Australia are merging and cover more land than all of Sydney

Credit: Original article can be found here

Bushfires rip through Werombi, a scattered village in Macarthur, New South Wales, which is west of Sydney.


Bushfires rip through Werombi, a scattered village in Macarthur, New South Wales, which is west of Sydney.

Australia’s bush fires that are raging across New South Wales have merged to create a so-called “megafire”, which is out of control north of Sydney.

Deputy Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers said the Central Coast blazes that joined to create a megafire had created a huge front for firefighters to tackle.

“They’ve all just basically joined together now and it’s almost like 60km of fire… and at various staging moving towards the east,” he told Nine.

“It’s a huge amount of fire,” Rogers said.

* Australia bushfires: ‘Catastrophic’ warning for Sydney as temperatures soar
* Australia bushfires: Satellite images show blazes take hold, smoke billow across Pacific
* Ninety fires burn across New South Wales
Haze across NZ to continue
Bushfires turn NZ glaciers red

“We will do our best to save homes but lives are the most important thing this afternoon.”

More than 680 homes have been lost so far this fire season, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. 

Specialist firefighters from the US and Canada will join the more than 2000 staff and volunteers fighting 100 fires across the state of New South Wales.

Twenty-one specialist firefighters from Canada were briefed on Friday before being deployed in the state’s north on Saturday. US firefighters are due to join the frontline on Sunday afternoon.

With seven fires burning at an emergency level, a total fire ban will now also be in place for greater Sydney tomorrow. 

Smoke haze blankets Sydney's Bondi Beach on Thursday.


Smoke haze blankets Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Thursday.

Beaches on parts of the NSW coast may be closed on the weekend due to poor air quality forecasts. 

As well as  affecting health, smoke haze could reduce visibility and make it hard to surf lifesavers to watch beach goers and surf conditions properly, director of Lifesaving Joel Wiseman.

Surf Life Saving NSW said the areas most likely to be affected were the lower north coast, the north coast, far south coast and the Sydney basin.

More to come.

– Stuff and Sydney Morning Herald