Australia’s most populated state announced its second emergency as intense heat and powerful winds stoked more than 100 bushfires, including three major blazes on Sydney’s doorstep.
The state of an emergency proclamation presented firefighters full powers to manage government resources, force evacuations, close roads and shut down utilities across New South Wales, which is home to more than 7 million people.
Authorities stated approximately 120 fires prevailed intense by late afternoon, more than half of which are uncontrolled, and with temperatures forecast to top 45 degrees Celsius (113°F) in some areas, officials cautioned citizens to be on high alert.
“The firefront has been spreading very quickly and intensely,” NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told reporters in Sydney, adding that two firefighters had been airlifted to hospital with burns to their faces and airways. “It’s still a very difficult and dangerous set of circumstances.”
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