The air quality in Sydney took a dramatic nosedive today, with smoke from the current bushfires on the streets and inside buildings.
A regional fire headquarters miles from the nearest blazes was reportedly evacuated, while mask-wearing commuters choked their way through thick acrid air and the organisers of a harbour yacht race said it was too risky to proceed. Excessive water restrictions birth in the harbour city on Tuesday. "The vision is just so poor".
With Sydney and a number of other different cities once more cloaked in thick poisonous smoke from blazes reducing by means of inland forests, firefighters warned of a tough day forward.
Outdoor sports have been canceled and health authorities in the state of New South Wales (NSW) reported a spike in respiratory illness as smoke from the fires blanketed Sydney.
The smoke is so heavy that it has triggered fire alarms across the city, with multiple offices evacuated as a result.More news: 3 takeaways from 2019 ACC title blowout vs. Virginia
"This is the worst it's been, for sure", he told AFP. "Even if you're not asthmatic, you feel it".
The NSW Rural Fire Service said firefighters can do little more than try to get residents out of the way, protect property and wait for dry and windy conditions to subside before they can begin containing the fires.
Smoke from the fires can be seen from space.
Total fire bans were put in place across much of the east of the country and in large parts of western Australia.
Nearly 3,000 firefighters will be deployed to fight the more than 80 bushfires which continue to burn across the state, including a so-called mega-fire north-west of Sydney, which was formed when the huge Gospers Mountain blaze merged with the neighbouring Little L Complex, Paddock Run, Three Mile and Kerry Ridge fires.More news: World Anti-Doping Agency imposes 4-year ban on Russia
To the northwest of Sydney, a number of fires already burning for weeks have mixed to create a "megafire" that has already destroyed 319,015 hectares (788,000 acres) of land, principally inside nationwide parks.
"People throughout coastal (New South Wales) are experiencing smoke haze this morning", the rural fire service said.
The Rural Fire Service commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, warned on Monday that while wind conditions won't be as hard as previous high fire danger days, that could be cancelled out by the high temperatures and low humidity expected on Tuesday.
Morrison's conservative coalition has been criticised by former fire chiefs for failing to heed warnings about climate change.More news: Reed moves clear as Woods surges in Bahamas