In Australia, a fierce bushfire, described as a firestorm, has been posing the most serious threat a twenty years of townships in the blue mountains west of Sydney.
GV Night scenes of bushfire burning
GV Bulldozers pushing trees down for firebreaks (3 shots)
SV Army trucks and personnel arrive to mop up (6 shots)
AERIAL VIEW Day scenes of smoke coming out of burning forest (4 shots)
GV Fierce fire burning while wind blowing (4 shots)
GV Helicopter moving overhead (2 shots)
GV Troops waiting beside trucks at roadside
AERIAL VIEW Fires continue burning (4 shots)
NEWPORT: "It was one of the biggest backburns mounted in recent years. Three bulldozers worked through the night to put through many kilometres in firebreaks.
"But the army was involved not just with its machinery, but also with its manpower. As many as one hundred and fifty troops helped to mop up what was then thought to be a fire on its way out. In fact at this stage of the morning it looked to us as if the main threat had passed, but daylight was to shatter that point of view.
"By nine o'clock temperatures had risen and winds increased to beyond their forecast strength. This was a fire that would not go down without a fight.
"In fact, it surprised everybody. By midday, the smoke had covered the entire Sydney metropolitan area. Many people could not believe the heavy smoke cover was coming from so far away. As the day wore on the fire crossed all obstacles thrown in its path.
"All the firefighters could do was observe the fire's path and steer it clear of property. The army lent its strength to the task with the use of helicopters and communications equipment.
"So far up to thirty-five thousand hectares, maybe much more, have been consumed by the fires. Winds of up to fifty kilometres an hour fanned the flames through terrain that otherwise might have provided an effective natural barrier. This area of the Blue Mountains is not heavily populated. Very small towns are threatened, but firefighters say they can contain the situation. There are fears, though, for the safety of any bushwalkers who might be lost in the area."
REPORTER: PETER NEWPORT
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Background: In Australia, a fierce bushfire, described as a firestorm, has been posing the most serious threat a twenty years of townships in the blue mountains west of Sydney. Several thousand hectares of bushland have been burnt out so far and several buildings and homes have been destroyed. A huge pall of smoke drifted over Sydney and firemen described conditions as frightening and appalling. Peter Newport of Channel Ten Sydney reports on the huge operation mounted by the Australian army to build fire breaks.