The Australian state of Victoria has again declared a state of disaster ahead of forecast “dangerous, dynamic” conditions in a massive bushfire zone.
Despite a national bushfire crisis raging since September, the south-eastern state is only entering what is considered to be its worst fire months.
Blazes have already burnt 1.2 million hectares in Victoria and claimed three lives. Nationally, 26 people have died.
The danger is predicted to be greatest on Friday due to hot, volatile weather.
“I know we have not seen this much fire activity this early in the season,” state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday.
“But I also make the point: I don’t think we’ve seen as co-ordinated, as effective a response to that unprecedented fire activity as we have seen in these last few weeks.”
There are also warnings for South Australia and New South Wales NSW, where fires continue to endanger lives and homes.
Australia saw its hottest and driest year on record in 2019 due to two specific weather phenomena and climate change, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Thursday.