The city of Sydney is smoked today, with extreme heat and winds fueling forest fires in southeastern Australia. Fireworks show in conjunction with New Year’s celebration held at the harbour, despite the public concerns.
Authorities have urged tourists in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW) to visit the beach to avoid a fire in the popular resort town, which is packed with tents and caravans.
“Getting protection and keeping your safety close to the beach is a safer option”, said NSW Interior Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.
Most fires were triggered by lightning, he said, warning of the situation is getting worse, with fires likely to follow the lightning for the past two or three days.
— Thomas (In 🇦🇺) (@superbugtom) December 31, 2019
“With the heat and windy weather, we expect to see new fires start because of the activity,” Fitzsimmons said.
Firefighters approved the fireworks display in conjunction with the New Year’s celebration in Sydney Harbor, even after some Labor communities and politicians called for it to be canceled, citing concerns about fire risk and consolidation with other towns in the region that had to cancel the annual event.
Yesterday, a volunteer firefighter died, the third since the forest fire series began.