1. NSW’s worst bushfires in a decade have destroyed hundreds of homes across the state.
“By the time we’ve finished counting it will at least be in the hundreds” said New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell.
“If we get through that without the loss of life we should all thank God for miracles.”
2. The skies above Sydney are scary.
3. Crazily scary.
4. The Blue Mountains are ablaze.
More than 100 fires raged through the day, fanned by winds over 88km/hr and temperatures in the mid-30s (95 Fahrenheit).
5. Residents fled for their lives.
6. Some likened the scenes to the Apocalypse.
7. It was hard to disagree.
8. Seriously, WTF was going on!?
9. By breakfast the skies looked ominous.
10. Seriously ominous.
11. Soon thousands were forced to evacuate as fast moving fires hit areas in the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, Central Coast and Southern Highlands.
12. There was no option.
13. Residents watched helplessly as homes burned.
14. While most people fled and firefighters battled the flames, others saw a photo opportunity.
15. The skies were weirdly beautiful.
16. But soon things were looking trippy.
17. By lunchtime the smoke was shrouding Sydney.
18. It was beautiful. And weird.
19. Fires burned out of control across NSW.
After its hottest summer ever, Australia has had one of its driest winters on record and its warmest start to spring, creating ideal conditions for bushfires.
20. The fires were visible from space!
21. And from the window of planes.
22. They covered a huge area.
A Rural Fire Service spokesman said the fire situation was unlikely to ease.
“It was a very warm winter, a very dry winter… we’re not even one month into spring and we’ve already got this,” said Deputy Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers.
23. The smoke made driving dangerous.
24. The Hume and Pacific Highways were closed.
25. Airports were closed and flights cancelled.
26. Even the Air Force was grounded.
27. The weather radar showed the smoke as rain.
28. The skies above Sydney were full of smoke.
29. The sun was barely visible through the haze.
30. The CBD looked freaky.
31. Day basically turned to night.
32. Tourists wondered what the hell was going on.
33. Normally packed beaches emptied…
35. As Sydneysiders marveled at the skies, their thoughts were with those most affected.
36. The Blue Mountains got a battering.
37. The fires ignited fuel tanks on the Central Coast.
38. Entire hillsides near Newcastle.
39. Basically, the whole of coastal NSW was affected.
40. Swimming lessons were cancelled.
41. And surf conditions worsened.
42. The smoke turned day to night.
43. It was like the lights went out over Sydney.
44. See? Freaky.
45. Floodlights were turned on to allow a cricket match to continue. Because play must go on.
46. By nightfall fires reached the edge of Newcastle.
47. The smoke created a spectacular Sydney sunset.
49. Across NSW, people hoped for a better tomorrow.
As night fell, more than 1500 firefighters were still tackling blazes.
50. And prayed for the safety of those keeping them safe.
Remember: Planning To Make A Plan Is Not A Plan
Complete your Bush Fire Survival Plan at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
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