Published: Tue, December 10, 2019

Sydney ferries are suspended as the city chokes on record breaking smoke

Sydney ferries are suspended as the city chokes on record breaking smoke

A mix of rage, despair, and defeat has driven Sydney-siders to Twitter today to share photos of the apocalyptic smoke that has descended on the city.

Sydney's ferries, which started the day using foghorns as they cautiously moved through the thick smoke, were halted at lunch time as visibility fell even further.

Tuesday's dense smoke was the result of large fires burning to the city's north and south west, the largest of which encompassed roughly 319,000 hectares of bushland. "The vision is just so poor".

Smoke alarms have been going off across Sydney, sporting events and all public ferries are cancelled, and those with respiratory disease are being told to keep their medication at hand.

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.

A business person WeatherWatch.co.nz connects with regularly in Sydney, who wanted to remain anonymous, described the smoke as "awful", adding "Everywhere is a ghost town as no one is outside".

"This is the worst it's been, for sure", he instructed AFP. "It dries your throat".


The New South Wales rural fire service said they expected "severe conditions where embers can be blown ahead of the fire into suburbs and threaten properties".

People watch as smoke from Green Wattle Creek fire is seen from Echo Point lookout in Katoomba, as bushfires continue to blaze in New South Wales, Australia.

Whole fireplace bans have been put in place throughout a lot of the east of the nation and in massive components of western Australia.

After a brief respite over the weekend, conditions are set to worsen on Tuesday as temperatures top 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and winds pick up, stoking fears that fires could spread to more populated areas.

To the northwest of Sydney, several fires burning for weeks have formed a "megafire" along a front of 60 kilometers (37 miles).

More than 80 buildings including Customs House in Circular Quay and the Rural Fire Service headquarters at Olympic Park were evacuated when alarms were triggered forcing hundreds of people onto the street.

Many are slamming the government for their response to the crisis, and their wider denial that we need to take better action against climate change.

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