- Australia’s devastating fires have reached an unprecedented peak in the first few days of January, according to multiple reports.
- Photos from New South Wales taken Sunday show shocking red skies blanketing communities with an eery, thick fog.
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The devastating bushfires in Australia that have drawn military deployments and millions of dollars of aid meant to address “unprecedented” amounts of damage, authorities said in a Saturday press conference.
Pictures showing skies in parts of New South Wales show the shocking effects of months of fires that have devastated nearby areas. Blood-red skies hung over the state, which currently has 150 active fires, 64 of which are uncontrolled, according to The Associated Press.
See the latest shocking photos from the fires.
The scenes from New South Wales appeared almost post-apocalyptic as a heavy, glowing blanket of smoke hung above areas like Canberra.
Visitors to the Parliament House wore protective face masks to block out the smoke and ash in the air.
Reuters reports that officials in Canberra asked for 100,000 extra breathing masks as Sunday saw the world’s worst-ever recorded air quality. The masks are expected to arrive for residents on Monday.
The foggy skies even appeared-blood red in some areas.
More than 5.25 million hectares (13 million acres) of land have been burnt so far in this fire season across Australia and nearly 1,500 homes have been destroyed in New South Wales alone.
The fires have been devastating for rural areas, and authorities said approximately 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles, have died in the fires.
The eery glow wasn’t limited to Australia, as skies in Auckland, New Zealand, also appeared orange late Sunday.
Auckland sits around 1,300 miles from Sydney and was first exposed to the smoky skies around 2 p.m. local time on Sunday,according to Weather Watch.
Despite the haze, police told Auckland residents there was no need to alert authorities.
Authorities jumped at the change in weather that spread light rain and cooler temperatures on Sunday as a break to continue delivering supplies to and evacuating affected residents.
Despite the break in weather, New South Wales (NSW) state Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warned on Saturday that it was not enough to extinguish the almost 200 fires that were still burning.
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