Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 December 2019

Australia's Sydney blanketed by haze from wildfires - in pictures

Wildfires have come close to the city

Australia's wildfires have shrouded Sydney in dangerous smoke as the fires are burning close to the country's most populous city, prompting health concerns.

Officials said air quality in some areas was at 10 times hazardous levels on Tuesday Nov.19 and advised residents to stay indoors as much as possible.

Wildfires have claimed at least four lives so far, destroyed more than 300 homes, and also put local wildlife at huge risk as strong winds have encouraged more than 100 fires across the east coast. The states of New South Wales and Queensland have been hit particularly hard.

A woman on Tuesday endangered her own life to rescue a scorched koala in New South Wales - wrapping the animal in her shirt and cooling its burned skin and fur with water.

Australia is prone to bushfires in its dry, hot summers but fierce blazes have arrived much earlier than expected due to drought and soaring temperatures.

Updated: November 24, 2019 02:56 PM

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