Searing temperatures and high winds are sparking fresh wildfires across Australia.
The severe conditions are expected to replicate those of 2009, when “Black Saturday” bushfires in Victoria state killed 173 people and caused billions of euros worth of damage.
After a heatwave lasting a week, wildfires are ablaze in five of Australia’s six states.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has warned the nation to prepare for possibly its worst day: “With more than 100 fires in the most populous state New South Wales, the word catastrophic is being used for good reason,” she said.
Authorities have urged people to keep themselves safe and so far those warnings appear to have been heeded. After Black Staturday, precautions have greatly improved.
There have been no reports of deaths, although many people are still missing in fire affected areas of Tasmania.