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Australian wildfires turned the sky deep red

The sky was red from smoke from the Snowy Valley bushfire on the outskirts of Cooma on Saturday.
The sky was red from smoke from the Snowy Valley bushfire on the outskirts of Cooma on Saturday.SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images

Red-tinged skies and thick fog hung over Australia’s New South Wales state, as deadly bush fires prompted military deployments, mass evacuations, and a government pledge of billions of dollars in recovery aid.

“Some days it always feels like sunset," as one resident put it.

The death toll from the fires, which have been burning for five months, has reached at least 24, and at least 2,000 homes have been destroyed across the country. So far, the blazes have scorched an area twice the size of the US state of Maryland.

According to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, 136 fires continued to burn across the state Monday, 69 of which were uncontained.

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The afternoon sky glowed red from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales.
The afternoon sky glowed red from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales.SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images

Plumes of smoke from the wildfires on Australia’s east coast drifted to New Zealand, cloaking the sky in orange light.

The sky above Auckland's Sky Tower turned orange as smoke from the Australia wildfires arrived in New Zealand, Sunday.
The sky above Auckland's Sky Tower turned orange as smoke from the Australia wildfires arrived in New Zealand, Sunday.Luke Kirkness/Associated Press


Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


Amanda Kaufman can be reached at amanda.kaufman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.