Bushfires force evacuations, thousands stranded at airports in Australia
Winds gusting up to 70 kmh (44 mph) fanned major bushfires on Australia's east coast on Friday (November 23), threatening homes and forcing evacuations.
A Boeing 737 modified for use as a waterbomber was used to fight bushfires as fires around the popular tourist spot of Port Stephens, nearly 200 km (124 miles) north of Sydney, forced an emergency evacuation of residents.
There were no reports of injuries or loss of property.
Strong winds across Australia's southeast coast also caused commuter chaos at Sydney and Melbourne airports, the country's two busiest, with thousands of air travelers stranded after dozens of flights were canceled.
Sydney Airport canceled 76 flights after all but one runway was closed due to the strong winds.