Sydney wildfires: Out of control blaze is among the worst in a decade

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Emergency warnings have been issued and residents are being urged to take shelter

The bushfire thought to be one of the worst in a decade has hit areas in Australia, destroying dozens of homes as it sweeps across Sydney's north and south regions.

Hundreds of fire-fighters are now battling seven major fires across New South Wales. Residents who have not already been evacuated from surrounding areas are now being instructed to take shelter in their homes.

Dangerous weather conditions have fanned the flames, with fire-fighters in the area expecting "significant" home losses. Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers told ABC Radio: “It's probably the most serious fire risk we've faced since the early 2000s.

“If we come out of this day without losing hundreds of homes we'll be very lucky.”

Strong winds expected to reach up to 80km and temperatures of over 30C have caused havoc for fire-fighters attempting to tackle blazes.

A fast moving fire in the north of Lithgow has so far destroyed more than 600 hectares of bushland and is threatening properties across Clarence and Oaky Park.

Evacuation centres have been set up at the Blue Moutains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah and the Lithgow Workers Club.

The RFS said residents in the Balmoral Village, west of Wollongong should stay put now. "Basically we're just urging residents to take shelter. There's no time to leave now", Wendy Smith, RFS spokesperson told ABC news.

A team of 100 fire-fighters have also been working to douse a fire in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney on Thursday.

Approximately 60 fires are burning across the state and 20 of these remain uncontained. Emergency response teams are now preparing for tougher weather conditions.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore