Australia bushfires: Record number of emergencies in New South Wales

09.11.2019

Australian authorities say an "unprecedented" number of emergency-level bushfires are threatening the state of New South Wales (NSW), BBC reports.

More than 80 blazes were raging across the state on Friday.

Gusty winds and up to 35C heat have exacerbated the fires, many of which are in drought-affected areas.

There are reports of people trapped in their homes in several places, with crew unable to reach them due to the strength of the fires.

"We are in uncharted territory," said Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons. "We have never seen this many fires concurrently at emergency warning level."

At one point, 17 emergency-level fires were burning simultaneously across NSW.

But fire authorities said that falling temperatures, increases in humidity and helicopter assistance were helping with efforts to tackle the blazes.

The blazes are spread across about 1,000 km (621 miles) of Australia's coast, stretching the emergency response. BBC reports.