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Australia bushfires: Record number of emergencies in New South Wales

November 9, 2019 8:48 am
The fires have affected both inland and coastal areas in the state's north-east PC AFP

Australian authorities say an “unprecedented” number of emergency-level bushfires are threatening the state of New South Wales (NSW).

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

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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.

Authorities have deployed more than 1,000 firefighters and 70 aircraft to save “as many people as possible”, Mr Fitzsimmons said.

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