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article imageOp-Ed: Massive fires hit Sydney, coast and mountains

By Paul Wallis     Oct 17, 2013 in World
Sydney - When you look out the window and the sky is purple, you know something’s happening. I saw a bruise-colored sky this afternoon. Sydney Harbor had a gigantic pall of smoke on the horizon.
The state currently has nearly 100 fires burning, currently with about 40 out of control.
As is usually the case with major bushfires, the news contained dozens of updates. As I listened, a fire jumped a river and a freeway. An evacuee was cut off in mid-interview with ABC Australia. Then the road to Canberra was cut, and the major highway, the Pacific, cut south of Newcastle.
The fire services swung into action fast, deploying thousands of people on the ground. The problem was that the 90km winds made it almost impossible to fly over the fires, restricting support availability.
Officials say hundreds of homes may have been lost as New South Wales suffers one of its worst bushf...
Officials say hundreds of homes may have been lost as New South Wales suffers one of its worst bushfire days in recent memory
Screengrab / NewsOnABC
The Sydney Morning Herald has a live blog with a saga of updates:
ABC Australia News is also providing fast updates:
Known facts are:
***Dozens of homes destroyed, possibly hundreds
***Massive disruption to state roads, including some people stuck on the road due to bushfires cutting them
***A southerly change has dropped temperatures, but it’s also a possible threat if it changes the direction of the fires
No fatalities, which is being described as a miracle
Twitter has an astonishing range of pictures (login required) of the fires:
Right now, nobody’s too sure what happens next. Updates to follow.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Sydney bush fires, Natural disasters, Australian bushfires 2013
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