Around 1,000 people were reportedly forced to flee from an Australian national park as two bushfires burned out of control.
Fire service spokesman James Morris said the Royal National Park in Sydney – a popular destination for holidaymakers – had to be evacuated on Saturday.
About 200 people, including those at a junior surf carnival, had to be rescued by firefighters on boats as they were unable to leave the area on their own, Mr Morris said.
Helicopters that can drop water have also been deployed to aid firefighters in their efforts to control the blazes.
The rescue operation takes place as thick black smoke continues to billow over the southern suburbs of the city.
Firefighters had issued an emergency warning to park visitors as the blaze threatened the main access road to the popular tourist spot, Wedding Cake Rock – where visitors posted photos of the thick smoke online.
Long Gully Rd Fire #Bannaby/Taralga: #NSWRFS Firefighters successfully protected a number of isolated properties this afternoon & continue to work overnight to protect properties & establish containment lines ahead of worsening conditions tomorrow. Video: Greg Granger pic.twitter.com/LCKRItASwy
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 20, 2018
“Firefighters, police, surf lifesavers and National Parks personnel are working with people at beaches in the Royal National Park to help manage their relocation as it’s safe to do so – including by boat and road escort,” the Rural Fire Service (RFS) wrote on Facebook, after saying beaches could be provide safety.
Although the cause of the fire is not yet known, fire chiefs had warned of potential hazards as temperatures reached sweltering highs of up to 38C (100F) in the region.
The state of New South Wales has already seen around 50 fires amid the blistering heat.
Southeastern parts of South Australia and Tasmania has also seen fires as people prepare for more dangerously hot weather across the southeast of the country.
The weather warnings come as the heat hit the southeastern state of Victoria on Friday, causing much discomfort to those at the Australian Open tennis tournament.