The NSW Rural Fire Service has underscored the severity of today’s bushfires, with Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons stating: “If we get through with less than 100 homes destroyed today, we have been lucky.”
Fires are burning in the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and the Central Coast at the moment. Houses and schools have been evacuated in affected areas.
Smoke from the fire has turned the sky over Sydney an apocalyptic orange with the Sun becoming a deep, red disk that has had people stopping in the streets to stare.
— Emma Mackenzie (@EmmaKMackenzie) October 17, 2013
— Andrew Jones (@lowredshift) October 17, 2013
— Sarah Potts (@Pottsy712) October 17, 2013
Sky over Marrickville now pic.twitter.com/32d099B8hp
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) October 17, 2013
Ash particles in the air tend to scatter more blue light — which has a shorter wavelength than other colours — than red, so people on the ground get an orange-tinged view by the time light filters through the clouds.
NSW Health has warned that smoke particles may cause health problems and aggravate existing lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
Earlier this year, the Singapore Government urged residents to stay indoors to avoid smog caused by forest fires in Indonesia.
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