MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The towns were evacuated and hundreds of residents were asked to flee on Friday when a large number of emergency wildfires raged in two Australian states.
Smoke with orange and orange skies is seen from the kitchen window in Port Macquarie, Australia on November 8, 2019, in this still image obtained from a social media video. Laura Begbie / via REUTERS
The New South Wales rural fire service has issued a warning about 17 fires, advising people to leave early or seek shelter. More than 50 smaller flames also burned out of control.
The service has also received reports of people trapped in their homes, state broadcaster ABC said.
These fires are very dangerous. If you're near these fires, your life is in danger and you need to take action to protect your life, NSW state rural fire protection service said.
By early evening, the number of emergency fires had dropped to 15 simultaneous fires and three fires of the same level were burning in the northern state of Queensland.
Strong winds blew up the flames, turning the sky red in the coastal town north of Port Macquarie, according to social media posts.
More than 1,000 firefighters and 70 aircraft have been deployed to fight the fire, the fire department told ABC.
This is a very volatile and very dangerous situation that we are facing right here on these fire bases in New South Wales, New Fire Wales Rural Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons …