Bushfire Smoke Leaves Sydney Air Quality Among the World's Worst

Thick smoke from the Gospers Mountain bushfire, burning in the northern Blue Mountains and Lower Hunter regions of New South Wales, swept into Sydney, reducing air quality to among the worst of the world’s major cities on Wednesday, November 19.

Smoke from the fire blanketed parts of Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle and was “likely to hang around for the next few days”, according to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS).

“Hot and windy conditions are expected today and many of the active fires may spread,” the NSW RFS said.

This footage shows the smoke haze settling over the Anzac Bridge on the fringe of Sydney’s central business district. The city’s air quality was worse than that in Kolkata, according to reports.

The Gospers Mountain fire, which had been burning for weeks in Wollemi National Park, triggered “emergency”-level warnings a number of times and was sitting at a “watch and act” level of warning on Wednesday morning.

The near-140,000 hectare blaze was spreading towards the community of Colo Heights, where residents, along with those in the nearby areas of Glen Davis, Newnes, Glen Alice, Putty Valley, Yengo Drive, Higher MacDonald, Webbs Creek, were told to activate bushfire survival plans and monitor conditions. Credit: Declan Bowring via Storyful