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Many fires merged near Sydney, in Australia

Five blazes merged north of Sydney this week.  It is now a big 250,000 hectare blaze, larger than Sydney.

There is no chance firefighting resources can match the scale of this fire. However, "it's no different if it's one hectare or 260,000 hectares when it comes to strategies," officer Stuart O'Keefe explained. "We need flooding rain to put these fires out. That's really what is going to stop it," he added. But this is not expected until late January or early February. More than 2100 personnel are fighting the fires across the state. About 1600 of them are firefighters.  Sydney sky is now sepia-toned. Sydney air quality is worse than Shanghai’s.

sepia-toned-environment

Sepia toned environment

The thick grey smoke that has blanketed the city’s skyline and coast for days looks “as if the country were being devoured by a chemical reaction”, novelist Anna Funder described in media. A helicopter has crashed fighting one of the blazes on the Mid North Coast. RFS spokesman Greg Allan said the volatile conditions caused by the winds could stoke the fires to again reach emergency levels on Saturday evening. High winds are forecast to hit fire grounds from Monday. Leading scientists condemn political inaction on climate change in Australia.

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