Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sydney Is Besieged by a Wall of Flame

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sydney Is Besieged by a Wall of Flame

Article excerpt

Byline: ROGER MAYNARD;CHARLES MIRANDA

By Roger Maynard in Sydney and Charles Miranda in London

SYDNEY was under siege from a wall of flame today with thousands of firefighters and homeowners battling against more than 60 bushfires raging out of control on its outskirts.

Amid the worst drought for 100 years and temperatures soaring to 99F, strong winds drove flames from blazing bushland towards suburban estates, engulfing at least 23 homes and threatening hundreds of others.

Vineyards at Australia's premier wine growing region in the Hunter Valley were under threat as flames raced through surrounding tinderdry scrub. Water bombing runs were being made to create a barrier.

"We've got major problems all over Sydney," said Rural Fire Service Commissioner Phil Koperberg. "It is far from being under control."

More than 1,100 regular and volunteer firefighters and soldiers have been mobilised to fight the blazes along with 67 helicopters. …

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