AUSTRALIAN AUTHORITIES WARNING They can’t get the upper hand on bushfires


Australian authorities said late they had a long way to go to contain “enormous” bushfires that have raged across a vast area of the country’s east coast and shrouded Sydney in smoke.

Officials were responding to more than a dozen emergency warnings in New South Wales (NSW), each covering several communities, by evening as more than half the 85 fires across the state burned uncontrolled amid “catastrophic” conditions. An aircraft was diverted to drop fire retardants on emergency bushfires threatening homes in Sydney’s northern suburbs.

Footage showed some of the retardant had overshot the blaze, colouring suburban houses and vehicles pink and red. A firefighter was also injured in the process.

The current outbreak, which killed three people and destroyed more than 150 homes at the weekend, has been fanned by an unprecedented combination of high temperatures and strong winds