Bushfire smoke from Australia covers sky of New Zealand's Auckland

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The heavy smoke from devastating Australian bushfires cloaked Auckland, turning the city's skyline into eerie orange color on Sunday afternoon.


Auckland's sky turned orange as the Australian bushfires smoke rolled in. (Photo from website)

New Zealand meteorology service MetService forecast that an upper level jet of westerly winds was driving the smoke across the Tasman Sea towards New Zealand. The smoke was expected to arrive Sunday evening and was likely to be largely gone by the morning.

It is the second layer of smoke coming from the Australian bushfires, which is cloaking the North Island and upper parts of the South Island. Much of the South Island awoke to sepia skies on New Year's Day before the smoke spread to the North Island.

MetService said it is possible that people would be able to smell and taste the smoke. However, long-lasting health effects are not expected.

On Friday, the New Zealand government pledged 22 more firefighters to help fight the Australian bushfires.