‘Catastrophic’ danger: Australia wildfires threaten Sydney

Australia has raised the fire warning level for Sydney to “catastrophic”, the highest level possible, as bushfires approach the country’s biggest city, with those in the most at-risk areas being urged to evacuate.

Dozens of wildfires have scorched more than 11,000 square kilometres of Australia’s western coast In recent months – an area larger than Kosovo.

But high temperatures and strong winds expected on Tuesday have prompted fears of even greater destruction, including in the region around the country’s most populous city, Sydney.

On Monday, authorities raised the fire warning level for the city and surrounding region to “catastrophic”.

"Under catastrophic conditions, the safest thing you can do is not be in an at-risk area,” said Shane Fitzsimmons, New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner.

“Life is at risk when it comes to catastrophic conditions, and as we've said for decades now, we cannot guarantee a fire truck at every home.”