Smoke from a bushfire at Bemboka, in the south of New South Wales, Australia, 16 August 2018. Photo: Daniel Strickland

16 August 2018 (BBC News) – Emergency crews in Australia are battling unseasonal bushfires which have erupted across drought-stricken New South Wales (NSW).

Almost 80 fires were burning along the state's coast on Thursday, having ripped through more than 1,000 hectares in recent days.

No lives or homes were in immediate danger, according to officials.

Winter bushfires are uncommon but have flared up this year due to dry conditions, authorities say.

Last week, the entire state of NSW was declared to be drought-affected.

"It is fair to say that the fires we are seeing today is really a result of the drought," NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said on Thursday.

He said a combination of dry vegetation, lack of moisture and strong winds over 100km/h (75mph) had caused the fires to spread quickly.

"We don't even need the increased temperature [of summer]," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. [more]

New South Wales battles dozens of winter bushfires

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