Household fires have been banned in Sydney, Australia, because of an unseasonal outbreak of bushfires.?
AERIAL VIEW Bushfire, flames in forest and fire trucks moving along track through trees (3 shots)
AERIAL V Smoke enveloping house near side of large body of water (2 shots)
SV Truck on main road ZOOM INTO burning undergrowth (2 shots)
GV Burning forest (3 shots)
GV Smoke rising with legs of power pylon in foreground
LV Fire truck moving through burning shrubbery and more foliage aflame (3 shots)
GV PAN Smoke rising from forest
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Background: Household fires have been banned in Sydney, Australia, because of an unseasonal outbreak of bushfires. Fire brigades and volunteer units have been battling to contain fires at the northern and southern outskirts of the city.
SYNOPSIS: Countryside surrounding Sydney was tinderbox dry after one of its driest, sunniest winters on record. Then, last week, spring temperatures rocketed above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Centigrade). Strong winds fanned outbreaks of fire in northern suburbs, and in a national park south of the city. At times the flames burned dangerously close to houses in the Wiseman's Ferry district, but none caught fire.
Fire brigade units and volunteer services have been working non-stop to contain fires which, at one stage, formed a semi-circle around the city. In the national park, thousands of acres were ablaze. Huge clouds of smoke hung over the central city and suburbs.
In some inaccessible areas, fires have been left to burn unchecked and, for the fire fighters, weather forecasts were daunting....further scorching temperatures and gusty winds. Normally, the bushfire season doesn't begin until midsummer -- January and February. But this early spring outbreak has alerted fire crews for a long, dry season.