Orange haze from bushfires 'freaks out' locals

By Kelvin McDonald
An orange haze surrounded Rangitoto Island in Auckland today. Photo / File

More of the country's skies have begun to turn an ominous orange as the outward signs of the Australian bushfires are brought home on this side of the Tasman.

The country's largest city Auckland sunk into an orange haze Sunday afternoon as holiday-makers returned to the city and drivers on the city's roads switched on their headlights much earlier than usual for summer.

This afternoon the Met Service warned that smoke from the devastating bushfires in Australia would shortly reach the top half of the country.

"Skies will be starting to turn orange in the North Island as bushfire smoke moves across," the Met Service tweeted.

Police say that while they appreciate these conditions may be causing concern, they are asking people not to call the 111 emergency number to report the orange haze in the sky caused by the Australian bushfires.

Sky City in orange cloud.  Photo / File

On social media people were quick to react, with comments such as "the sky has been freaking me out all afternoon" and it has turned "an eerie orange in Auckland and the smell of smoke is in the air".

People also expressed concern and compassion for our neighbours across the Tasman, as well as whānau impacted by the fires, including comments such as "Thinking of my relatives in Aussie" and "I do feel for Australia though, my heart goes out to all animals and humans that it's affected."

Areas of the South Island first reported orange skies from the bushfires on New Year's Day.