Sydney smoke – metropolis covered in thick haze as greater than 50 bushfires …


Sydney woke up to a thick blanket of smoke over the city on Tuesday as New South Wales headed into the first of two “tough days” this week, with temperatures likely to rise to the 40s and little-to-no rainfall forecast.

Most of the state’s east coast was under severe or very high fire danger ratings, with more than 50 bushfires burning, of which 28 remained uncontained.

About Sydney
Sydney ( (listen) SID-nee) is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia’s east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as “Sydneysiders”. As of June 2017, Sydney’s estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state’s population.Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years, and thousands of engravings remain throughout the region, making it one of the richest in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites. During his first Pacific voyage in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to chart the eastern coast of Australia, making landfall at Botany Bay and inspiring British interest in the area. In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, led by Arthur Phillip, founded Sydney as a British penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Phillip named the city Sydney in recognition of Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney. Penal transportation to New South Wales ended soon after Sydney was incorporated as a city in 1842. A gold rush occurred in the colony in 1851, and over the next century, Sydney transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. After World War II, it experienced mass migration and became one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney. In the 2016 Census, about 35.8% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 45.4% of the population reported having been born overseas, making Sydney the third largest foreign born population of any city in the world after London and New York City, respectively.Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Sydney frequently ranks in the top ten of lists of the most livable cities in the world. It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance, manufacturing and tourism. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Australia’s financial capital and one of Asia Pacific’s leading financial hubs. Established in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia’s first university and is regarded as one of the world’s leading universities. Sydney is also home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826.Sydney has hosted major international sporting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics. The city is among the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city’s landmarks. Boasting over 1,000,000 ha (2,500,000 acres) of nature reserves and parks, its notable natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in the country. Built attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House are also well known to international visitors. The main passenger airport serving the metropolitan area is Kingsford-Smith Airport, one of the world’s oldest continually operating airports. Established in 1906, Central station, the largest and busiest railway station in the state, is the main hub of the city’s rail network.

Sydney smoke: city covered in thick haze as more than 50 bushfires …

About smoke:

All were at “advice” level on Tuesday morning, with more than 1,300 firefighters on the ground.

Six lives and 530 homes have been lost since NSW bushfire season hit, with more than 420 homes destroyed in the past fortnight alone.

Sydney smoke: city covered in thick haze as more than 50 bushfires …

“More than 1,300 firefighters continue work on these fires tonight, ahead of forecast hot, dry and windy conditions tomorrow,” the Rural Fire Service said.

Winds dragged smoke from a huge fire at Gospers Mountain north-west of the Sydney over the city on Tuesday morning, and the haze was not likely to dissipate until a southerly change in the afternoon.

The air quality rating was poor and people with asthma or other breathing issues were warned to stay indoors, avoid outdoor exercise and seek medical advice as needed.

Tuesday and Thursday would be “tough days” for NSW, Rural Fire Service deputy commissioner Rob Rogers warned.

Parts of the state under severe fire danger on Tuesday included Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Southern Ranges and Central Ranges fire regions. These regions, along with the Northern Slopes and North Western regions, were also under a total fire ban.

Much of the rest of eastern NSW and the Australian Capital Territory were under very high fire danger. Some 1.6m hectares of land have been burnt so far – more than the entire 1993-94 bushfire season.

On Monday firefighters were battling a firefront of some 6,000km, the equivalent distance of a return Sydney-Perth trip.

Rogers said firefighters were “singularly focused” on preventing further loss of life and property and warned people to stay alert. “Even though it’s not a catastrophic danger it’s still going to be bad fire days,” he said.

He urged anyone who had not yet been affected by fires to “please use this as a wake-up call”, warning them to take steps including cleaning out gutters and having a fire safety plan in place.

A DC10 air tanker had been drafted in from North America, he said, to help drop up to 38,000 litres of water and retardant on blazes, and efforts would be bolstered by help from New Zealand firefighters.

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, asked everyone to “maintain their vigilance”.