Sydneysiders were left shaking their heads last night after a twenty-minute firework display was held in Sydney Harbour, despite a total fire ban being in place.
Over the past week, wild bushfires have caused havoc, with unprecedented blazes causing widespread damage and destruction throughout the eastern seaboard.
Strong winds and extreme temperatures prompted a “catastrophic” fire danger rating for the greater Sydney region for the very first time. A total fire ban remained for all of New South Wales on Wednesday.
However, a firework display was seen over the CBD just before 10pm.
One of the best fireworks displays of the year. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/8GtkXJeIKe
— Sydney Fireworks (@FireworksSydney) November 13, 2019
Sydneysiders have slammed the fireworks, calling it “hypocritical” and “insensitive”.
“How are fireworks ok during a total fire ban?!” one resident tweeted.
Another added, “What needed to be celebrated that this was worth happening during a total fire ban?”
“Wtf?!?! So tone deaf. Exemption or not what about common sense – what was so important???” wrote another.
Another slammed the decision, calling it “disgraceful”.
“Disgraceful… people have died…. and 1000s of firefighters are still battling blazes utterly exhausted …. no more fireworks until the NDW State of emergency is lifted,” they tweeted.
The latest on the NSW bushfires:
- More than 70 fires burning across the state with about 40 uncontained and more than a dozen at “watch and act” alert level.
- More than 300 homes severely damaged or destroyed.
- More than 1.1 million hectares burned – that’s more than the combined total for the past three bushfire seasons
- Statewide total fire ban remains in place.
- State of emergency remains in place until early next week.
- Catastrophic fire danger rating has been lowered to “very high” for the Greater Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra/Shoalhaven regions.
- Very high fire danger ratings are also in effect for the southern and central ranges and northwestern, northern slopes, north coast and far north coast regions.
- The New England area is one notch higher with a fire danger rating of “severe”.
- 3000 firefighters in the field supported by 80 aircraft and 400 fire trucks.
- 13 firefighters were injured during Tuesday’s catastrophic conditions – none of the injuries were life-threatening
- Eight members of the public were also treated on Tuesday.
- Three people have died since Friday – two people in the Kangawalla blaze near Glen Innes and one in the Crowdy Bay fire near Taree.
- Authorities warn it could take many months to bring all the fires under control and declare them safe unless there’s rain.