Australian firefighter explains the "devastating" extent of the bushfires
2 January 2020, 13:41
"There has been more than 3.6 million hectares of bushland burnt out and we're not even half way through our fire season," a New South Wales firefighter told Nick Ferrari.
New South Wales state has declared a week-long emergency in response to escalating bushfires which have led to fifteen fatalities and thousands fleeing the coast.
It has been reported that firefighters are preparing to evacuate a further 4000 people from neighbouring state Victoria.
James Morris of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service told Nick Ferrari that there are still 120 bush and grass fires burning across the state with 74 being uncontrolled with firefighters in their thousands attending each shift to try to control the flames.
The bushfires have been described as "apocalyptic" and have had "devastating" effects on the coastal towns - this has tragically included 15 fatalities including a firefighter in the southern part of New South Wales.
There has been more than 3.6 million hectares of bushland burnt out and Mr Morris predicted that there will be an even more extreme spread of fires over the weekend into more populated communities across the coastline.
"We're not even half way through our fire season at this stage," he said, "our last total biggest ever season in New South Wales was only 1.4 million hectares. We still have a long way to go and potentially a lot more hectares still to be burnt yet."