Smoke from Australia's bushfires is seen to reach New Zealand in the coming days, according to the National Institute of Water Atmospheric Research (NIWA). The NSW bushfires greatly affected the Blue Mountains near Sydney which has been reportedly blazing for eight days.
Reports claimed more than 200 households have been damaged due to the wildfire. NIWA scientist Tony Bromley said the smoke from the bushfire may possibly reach New Zealand brought by the Tasman wind patterns. He added the rain may wash out some of the smoke but the size of the smoke plumes increases the chances of being transferred to New Zealand and nearby locations.
Bromley noted Kiwis may spot the bushfire smoke in Auckland from the top of North Island possibly at nighttime of Oct. 25. The smoke will remain visible until Oct. 26 if wind patterns will be the same.
People living in central New Zealand have yet to see smoke from the bushfires about midday Oct. 26 and will remain in the area for about 26-48 hours. South Islanders may expect to see the smoke in the coming days.
The scientist said the NSW bushfire smoke may produce intense sunrise and sunset depending on the clouds.
In another report, the ongoing NSW bushfires have claimed the life of a pilot trying to battle out the blaze. He crashed into rugged terrain while he was water-bombing the fire in southern part of NSW.
David Black, 43, died instantly when his Dromader plane crashed while trying to put out a fire at Wirritin in Budawang National Park. Reports noted one of the aircraft's wings fell before the plane crashed to the ground.
Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has described the pilot's death as a tragedy, especially for the firefighting community. He said the NSW people will be grateful for the pilot's attempt to suppress the raging fires.
Black has a family with young children. The commissioner said his family will be given support.
Aside from Black, another pilot carrying helicopter spare parts trying to stop the bushfires has also been confirmed dead. A Cessna plane has been reported missing on a flight between Moruya in NSW to Mangalore in Victoria.
Peter Brereton, 60, a pilot from Euroa, died in the scene.
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