Residents of the Australian city of Sydney suffer from toxic smoke caused by a deliberately lit, controlled forest fire outside the city.
Residents have been asked to stay indoors as air pollution levels have risen to dangerous, very unhealthy levels.
The Australian fire service regularly tries to light “risk-mitigating fires” outside the summer months, clearing the forest floor of debris that could fuel forest fires.
Efforts are now being made to fight the forest fires with all their might. The fire was probably fueled by the wind that carried the smoke to residential areas in the city.
Last year, wildfires devastated much of eastern Australia, killing 33 people, destroying more than 3,000 homes and enveloping Sydney and other cities in a haze of smoke and ash for months.
Climate change is believed to make the forest fire season longer and more dangerous while limiting the time in which controlled fires can be safely conducted.