Australia fires: Evacuation call stepped up as crisis worsens
January 4, 2020 6:30 am
Authorities in Australia have urged tens of thousands of people to move to safety amid concerns that bushfires will burn out of control this weekend.
“If you don’t need to be in the area, you need to leave,” warned New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Temperatures are expected to soar above 40C (104F) in parts of south-east Australia on Saturday, with strong winds increasing the fire danger.
Officials said it is expected to be a “very dangerous day”.
NSW Rural Fire Service deputy commissioner Rob Rogers warned that fires could move “frighteningly” quickly on Saturday because of the extreme weather conditions.
“We are unfortunately very likely to lose homes but we will be very happy and call it a success if there are no lives lost,” he said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
Since September, fires in Australia have killed at least 20 people, while dozens are missing.