The northern and southern suburbs of Sydney, Australia are ablaze with bushfires that are threatening houses in Davidson, Belrose and Waterfall.
GV Firemen and flames in bushland on outskirts of Sydney, Australia (2 shots)
GV Firemen working around house with fire nearby (3 shots)
GV Policemen running down street
GV Woman with child, car being driven out of garage, people with children wait for vehicles (3 shots)
GV PAN Flames TO Fireman
GV Man sitting on f???nce hosing area
AERIAL SHOT Houses with smoke around them (2 shots)
GV Firemen with hoses PAN TO Huge flames
GV Fireman on roof of house hosing PAN Houses in streets (2 shots)
AERIAL VIEW Raging fire in forest with smoke cloud (4 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The northern and southern suburbs of Sydney, Australia are ablaze with bushfires that are threatening houses in Davidson, Belrose and Waterfall. Five men, believed to have been firemen, died while fighting flames fanned by gale force winds that shipped the flames from forest areas into the suburbs.
SYNOPSIS: In the northern suburb of Davidson, 150 firefighters and ten units are battling to save the houses.
The fires broke out on Sunday (2 November) and were initially brought under control. But over-night the winds freshened and by mid-morning on Monday (3 November) the flames were roaring around the private dwellings.
Several hundred people were evacuated as their homes became threatened.
Flames leapt above rooftop levels, and firefighters hosed down neighbouring homes to keep them damp.
The fire burned over a mile (1.5 km) front leaving behind it about 200 acres (80 hectares) of burnt-out bush.
Reinforcements are being brought in as the blaze threatens to spread ever closer to the city.
Fires are no novelty to the heavily mountainous bush of the Royal National Park to the south and the Davidson State Recreation Reserve to the north. But this year, residents were caught off guard by the early outbreaks. An exceptionally dry winter combined with an early hot summer created critical tinder-box conditions.