Australia wildfires 'too big to put out', authorities warn

  • Video report by ITV News Report Ivor Bennett

Authorities and residents have found themselves overwhelmed as they try to battle wildfires in Australia, with some people being told blazes near their homes are now "too big" to extinguish.

Across the east of the country 150 fires are raging, fanned by high winds and dry conditions on the ground.

Even for a country that used to wildfires, the scale and severity of these infernos is causing alarm.

In New South Wales, just north of Sydney, the country's biggest city, a cauldron larger than the metropolis is burning.

Firefighters are attempting to battle blazes from the ground and air. Credit: AP

Pilots have attempted using aerial support to douse flames, with one helicopter ended its mission with a crash landing.

Crews from New Zealand and Canada are joining efforts to douse the flames.

So far, six people have died as a result of the fires, which have been alight since October.

Weather officials warned the largest blames fires cannot be put out by water-bombing aircraft or by crews tackling from ground level.

The New South Wales Bureau of Meteorology said: "The massive NSW fires are in some cases just too big to put out at the moment. They’re pumping out vast amounts of smoke which is filling the air, turning the sky orange and even appearing like significant rain on our radars."

Authorities now aim to contain the fires until there's enough rain to put them out, which forecasters say, could take weeks.