Before-and-after photos show Melbourne, Australia, blanketed in a thick haze as smoke from bushfires in the nearby state of New South Wales seeps into the city. Melbourne, located in Victoria, had several fires burning in the Wimmera and Gippsland regions, though most of the smoke that clouded the sky was due to fires raging in New South Wales. Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, has been in a thick cloud of smoke for weeks due to the New South Wales fires. Victoria Emergency Services issued an air quality warning at 3:30 p.m. local time warning of smokey conditions across the state through to Saturday.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.Before-and-after photos show Melbourne, Australia, blanketed in a thick haze as smoke from bushfires in the nearby state of New South Wales seeps into the city. According to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, there were over 122 fires burning on Australia’s east coast throughout the neighboring states of New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, and Victoria, on Friday afternoon.The fires were so out of control on Thursday that the New South Wales Government declared a State of Emergency for the second time in two weeks. It will last from December 19 to December 26.Authorities have said the state faces “the most devastating bushfire season in living memory.” It has already claimed the lives on six people and has destroyed nearly 800 homes. The nearby blazes have covered Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, in a thick cloud of smoke for weeks. Sydney is home to around five million people, equal to roughly one-fifth of the country’s population of 25 million.Melbourne, located in Victoria, had several fires burning in the Wimmera and Gippsland regions, though most of the smoke that clouded the sky was due to fires raging in New South Wales. Victoria Emergency Services said air quality in those regions is expected to be very poor over the next 24 hours. The service issued an air quality warning at 3:30 p.m. local time warning of smokey conditions across the state. They warned that light winds may mean that smoke will continue to impact air quality until Saturday morning, adding that conditions may impact people with health conditions and may result in shortness of breath.”The weather is really having an impact on my asthma,” Steffanie Tan, 22, of Melbourne told Business Insider. “I can barely manage to be outside for more than a few minutes at a time.”Photos taken earlier this year show just how hazy the skyline has become because of the weather conditions.
Port Melbourne beach on the left in January 25, 2019 and on the right on December 20, 2019.
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A popular tourist beach at Port Melbourne was shrouded in smoke on Friday. According to The Age, 25 domestic flights were cancelled on Friday due to smoke and haze.Extreme temperatures exacerbated weather conditions. According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, very hot conditions extended throughout the east coast, with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). According to Accuweather, the weather in Melbourne reached 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) by 5:30 p.m. local time. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said that preliminary readings indicate that Australia recorded its hottest day on record on Wednesday. The average temperature in the country reached 41.9 degrees Celsius (107.4 degrees Fahrenheit), beating the record of 40.9 degrees Celsius (105.6 degrees Farenheit) set just a day prior.The bureau also predicted that parts of the country would see a continuation of warmer and drier-than-average conditions throughout 2020. Bushfires in Australia are very common during the hotter spring and summer months, though scientists have said that Australia’s fire season is beginning earlier and becoming more extreme as a result of climate change.
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