Australia declares state of emergency for New South Wales as bushfires rage on
The weather is only expected to get worse this weekend.
A state of emergency has been declared for New South Wales as the Australian bush fires continue to rage on.
The seven-day state of emergency was declared today by State Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who said that the risk of fire danger is only expected to increase this weekend.
It is possible that force evacuations and road closures could take place in areas particularly affected by the fires.
"We want to make sure we are taking every single precaution to be prepared for what could be a horrible day on Saturday," said Berejiklian.
"We don't take these decisions lightly but we also want to make sure we're taking every single precaution to be prepared for what could be a horrible day on Saturday."
New South Wales Rural Fire Service recently set up a tourist leave zone warning visitors of dangers associated with the continued fires.
Those holidaying on the south coast near Batemans Bay to the Victorian border have been urged to evacuate the area before Saturday, when the worst of conditions are expected.
"These will be dangerous conditions," they warned. "Do not be in this area on Saturday."
"With the widespread power and communications outages across the South Coast please share this information to as many affected people as possible."
Up to 480 million animals in Australia are feared dead due to the prolonged bushfires.
"Around 480 million animals are feared to have died in the bushfires sweeping Australia, including nearly a third of the koalas in New South Wales's main habitat," reports the Evening Standard.
"Ecologists at the University of Sydney estimate around 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been killed, directly or indirectly, by the devastating blazes since they began in September.
"This includes almost 8,000 koalas, which are believed to have burnt to death on the state’s mid-north coast. More than 100 fires continue to rage across the country, having so far consumed more than five million hectares of land."