Firefighters battled against hundreds of bushfires across Australia’s east coast on Thursday as scores of blazes sprang up in new locations, triggering warnings that it was too late for some residents to evacuate.
In Sydney, the country’s most populous city, residents were urged to keep children indoors as thick smoke blanketed the city for the third consecutive day, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to address climate change issues.
Australia has been battling wildfires across several states for days, endangering thousands of people in many communities. Blazes so far this month have killed at least four people, burnt about 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) of farmland and bush and destroyed more than 400 homes.
The early arrival and severity of the fires in the southern hemisphere spring follows three years of drought, which has left bushland tinder-dry and been linked by experts to climate change.