The wildfires that are now threatening Sydney and other parts of New South Wales, Australia, are burning out of control, despite intensive firefighting efforts.
Hundreds of homes have been destroyed by fires raging along a 190-mile (306 kilometers) front, and much of the region is blanketed by thick, choking smoke. Dry, windy conditions are expected to worsen through Wednesday (Oct. 23), making the task of battling the infernos even more demanding, according to the Associated Press.
The fires are finding fuel in Australia's eucalyptus forests, which many experts blame for feeding wildfires that have blazed through the hills of California and other places where eucalyptus trees - native to Australia but now found throughout the world - have spread as an invasive species. (Raging Western Wildfires in Photos)
"Looking at the eucalyptus forest outside my window in Tasmania, I see a gigantic fire hazard," David Bowman, a forest ecologist at the University of Tasmania in Australia, told KQED. "On a really hot day, those things are going to burn like torches and shower our suburbs with sparks."