The NSW Rural Fire Service this afternoon renewed its emergency warnings for the State Mine and Mt Victoria fires in the Blue Mountains as fire activity intensified under strong southwesterly winds.
The State Mine fire has grown to cover than 49,000 hectares as of 6.30pm.
It is the largest of the devastating bushfires burning across the state, having already reached a size that would dwarf major metropolises like New York and Hong Kong earlier this week.
The Mt Victoria fire, which firefighters strategically joined to the State Mine fire on Tuesday, now covers 3,556 hectares.
The SMH reported earlier today that firefighters had faced improved conditions overnight and this morning, but were forced to upgrade the two Blue Mountains warnings in the afternoon due to “strong and gusty southwesterly winds”.
The fires had been burning since Thursday, destroying more than 200 homes and claiming at least two lives, including that of 43-year-old pilot David Black, who crashed while fighting bushfires west of Ulladulla today.
The Department of Defence today took responsibility and apologised for starting the State Mine fire in a live explosives exercise last Wednesday.
The NSW RFS publishes public updates on the fires here.
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