At least three people have died and thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes, and today (12 November) residents and travellers have been warned of ‘catastrophic fire danger’. “This is the highest possible level of risk,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office states on its website. Its advice for people in at-risk areas is to move to larger towns, shopping centres or facilities and to keep away from bushland areas.
“If you’re in or near an affected area, stay safe and follow the advice of local authorities: New South Wales Rural Fire Service or Queensland Fire & Emergency Services. In the event of emergency, always dial triple zero,” it advised travellers.
Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, highlighted that risk is very much present. "We need people to remain vigilant,” he said. “The last thing we can afford is for people to become complacent or be relaxed simply because we're getting towards end of the day. There are many hours yet of high risk to deal with."