Raging bushfires in Australia have turned the sky bright orange over Auckland in New Zealand, more than 1,200 miles away.
People have also reported their breathing has been affected by the smoke from the devastating blazes.
A witness to the eerie spectacle has described it as “apocalyptic”.
A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales
Police in New Zealand have asked people to stop calling the emergency number to report the issue.
One householder Zimena Dormer-Didovich said: “We’re in Auckland, New Zealand. That’s why this is so shocking to us – we’re so far away yet this smoke is so intense.”
She added: “My 14-year-old’s asthma is playing up, and I’m starting to notice that my breathing is slightly affected too.”
Image: This satellite image shows smoke from wildfires burning east of Obrost, Victoria
It comes as it was warned a billion animals will have died in the bushfires and even those that make it through the flames could perish in the coming weeks.
More from Australia Bushfires
As flames continue to ravage swathes of the country, Stuart Blanch of WWF Australia told Sky news mammals, birds, reptiles, bats, frogs and insects are all victims – and those who survive the infernos may still be doomed.
“Animals that make it through the fires will continue to die in the next weeks and months because of dehydration, starvation, disease and being easier prey for feral cats and foxes,” he said.
“Nearly all of Australian wildlife is well-adapted to cope with normal bushfires – but this is not normal, this a climate emergency-driven bushfire catastrophe and a lot of our wildlife simply cannot get away from the fires – they’re too fast, they’re too big, they’re too hot.
“So even animals that are not being burnt to death are cooked because of extreme temperatures, or they get very confused and lost because of the smoke haze so our animals don’t stand a chance from these mass mega-fires that burn flames up to 200ft high.”
Image: Celebrities and business leaders help to raise millions to fund firefighting operations
Thousands of firefighters are battling to contain the blazes and many continue to burn out of control, threatening to wipe out rural townships and causing almost incalculable damage to property and wildlife.
Soaring temperatures and strong winds fanned fires in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia on Saturday, forcing thousands to flee and bringing flames to the suburban fringes of Sydney.
The number of people killed has risen in the past 24 hours, after a 47-year-old man died while trying to defend a friend’s home.
Earlier on Saturday, a father and son who were battling flames for two days died on a highway on Kangaroo Island, off South Australia state.
A total of 24 people have been killed and almost 2,000 homes destroyed as the bushfires have ravaged three Australian states, burning about five million hectares (12.35 million acres) of land.
On Sunday, a drop in temperature and rain showers has brought some hope of a respite from the flames.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a news conference on Sunday: “While the weather conditions have improved… there are still many fires that are raging.
“And there is a very significant firefighting effort which is continuing.
“The better conditions obviously will assist, but it is important to stress, as I’ve been advised, that the nature of those fires is still very strong.
“And it will take some time. And that will require a considerable amount of effort. And we absolutely understand that that is where the primary focus is, particularly of the fire commissioners as they are addressing that very urgent task.”
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Actors, popstars and Britain’s royal family have stepped in to offer support for victims of the bushfires, helping to raise millions for firefighting services and wildlife shelters.
Nicole Kidman pledged a $500,000 (£381,000) donation on behalf of her family to New South Wales state Rural Fire Service, without specifying a currency.
She posted on Instagram: “Our family’s support, thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the fires all over Australia.”
Australian comedian Celeste Barber, who has family near the bushfire-hit town of Eden on the country’s south eastern coast, and popstars Pink and Iggy Azalea, who hails from a blaze-hit region north of Sydney, have also promised cash, as has actor Russell Crowe.
Source : Sky News