Australian prime minister is jeered in wildfire-ravaged zone

Australian prime minister is jeered in wildfire-ravaged zone

The state government has warned that conditions are likely to be "at least as bad" as New Year's Eve, when hundreds of homes were destroyed.

A state of emergency was declared in NSW for the third time this fire season, and in Victoria for the first time ever.

"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 terrible day on Saturday".

Research, led by the University of Sydney's Chris Dickman, said numerous estimated 480 million affected mammals, birds and reptiles would have been directly killed by the fires or indirectly through loss of habitat.

NSW has also declared a week-long state of emergency, and urged tens of thousands of residents and holidaymakers to evacuate coastal areas where a "tourist leave zone" has been declared.

ICA noted the true cost of the Australia fires will be much higher, as many of those whose property was ravaged by the fires were either underinsured or have no insurance at all, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

One driver told AFP it had taken her three hours to travel just 50 kilometres.

People in the fire-devastated New South Wales town of Cobargo angrily confronted Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a visit on Thursday, with one shouting that the leader should be "ashamed of himself" and had "left the country to burn".

NSW Rural Fire Service deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said firefighters would be unable to extinguish or even control the raging blazes.

"It's those areas that are untouched or have suffered less where wildlife tends to accumulate if they can get there", Beattie told AFP, adding that if there are enough of these, the burnt forests should regenerate over time but only if conditions improve quickly.

"We are singly focused on saving people's lives tomorrow and that's where our strong advice will be: do not be in front of these fires".

Steele said the region had been "chaotic" in recent days as fresh produce and fuel supplies ran low, but he and his wife were staying put for now.

"There is still a window for people to leave", Ms Berejiklian said on Friday. "We are cautious, we have our bags packed".

"If we need to reset and (return) again, weather permitting, that is exactly what will happen", he said.

A helicopter drops water on a brush fire outside of Batemans Bay in New South Wales on January 2, 2020.

At least 20 people have died so far in the fires with more missing and at least 500 homes destroyed.

Suburbs of cities like Sydney and Melbourne, home to several million people, have also been hit by brush fires.

Smoke from the wildfires made the air quality in the capital, Canberra, the worst in the world, according to a ranking Thursday.

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