Australians are facing ‘off the scale’ fire risk and ‘catastrophic’ conditions from bushfires today, as flames burn out of control up the eastern coast.
People cut off by fire were told it is too late to evacuate and their best hope now is to take shelter.
Thousands of firefighters had spread out across New South Wales but were unable to prevent fires from breaching containment lines amid scorching temperatures and gale-force winds.
More than 100 bushfires are raging from Sydney to Brisbane, with eleven declared emergencies giving a direct threat to numerous towns.
Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said: ‘Plenty of people have heeded the warnings and have left early.