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Dozens of out of control bushfires ravage massive areas in Australia

Dozens of out of control bushfires ravage massive areas in Australia”

A dramatic video released on Friday, November 8, by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service shows the intensity of the bushfires that are raging in the state, and highlights the dangers firefighters put themselves in to battle the blazes.

The fires an ominous orange glow over large areas of eastern New South Wales, with some locals describing the scene as "apocalyptic". Flames from the fire skirt the edge of the vehicle as they race through the bush.

At one point during the day there were more than 90 fires burning in the state with 57 out of control and 17 considered "emergency level". Authorities said 49 of those fires were uncontained. "We are in an unknown territory".

Mr Fitzsimmons added there have been more than 1,000 firefighters and 70 aircraft deployed by authorities to save "as many people as possible".

There are reports of people trapped in their homes in several places, with crew unable to reach them due to the strength of the fires.

"Today was a hard and risky day".

"It is a very volatile and very unsafe set of circumstances that we are experiencing right across these fire grounds in New South Wales", New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

In New South Wales, fires reportedly forced the closure of two sections of the Pacific Highway linking the regional capitals of Sydney and Brisbane.

On Queensland's Sunshine Coast, police ordered the total evacuation of Tewantin, a suburb of 4,565 people, before scaling back the order.

A firefighter looks at a burning fire.

Strong winds and high temperatures are expected to ease into weekend offering the chance of some respite.

"It's a very dynamic, volatile and risky set of circumstances", said Fitzsimmons.

Earlier this month, some of the same fires covered Sydney in unsafe smoke for days, giving the city a greater concentration of particles per million than cities like Bangkok, Jakarta or Hong Kong.

In Australia, months went by without adequate rainfall, forcing farmers to transport water at an exorbitant cost, sell livestock or leave their land for fallow.

On Wednesday, Australia's government announced a package of low-priced loans worth around one billion Australian dollars (US$690 million), created to help drought-stricken farmers struggling with the latest "big dry".



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