New Zealanders are sharing videos and photos of the thick orange smog covering the sun on social media. Residents of Christchurch, which is more than 2,000 kilometres (1,242 miles) away from the fire, are also complaining about the smoke, according to the media outlet.
"Smoke which has travelled around 2,000km across the Tasman Sea can clearly be seen over the lower South Island. Visibility in the smoke haze is as low as 10km in the worst affected areas", New Zealand's meteorological service wrote on Twitter.
Smoke from Australia in Queenstown, New Zealand. Today vs yesterday. pic.twitter.com/laBw9bHJMQ— 🔆🔥💨📈var = Jason Thompson (@Agent_Jase) December 31, 2019
Earlier in the day, it was reported that the Australian Defence Force was sending military vessels and aircraft to the country's southeastern regions as massive bushfires left nearly 4,000 people trapped on the beaches.
Video of the sun from Blenheim New Zealand today 1st of January 2020. Smoke haze from the Australian fires making the sun a blood sun over our country. You can literally see the sun's corona. RIP Australia. Soo so sad. 😭 pic.twitter.com/bCPFo42RcS— Supernatural is Us. It's Family! (@j2mjoy) January 1, 2020
During three months of bushfires, more than seven million acres of forest have reportedly been burned, destroying animal habitats, plant species and homes in the process. New fires were also ignited on 31 December due to lightning storms caused by the smoke from the bushfires.
The fires have been the result of severe drought and record-setting temperatures in Australia. On 25 December, Australia recorded its warmest day on record, with an average maximum of 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit.