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Australian authorities urge evacuations ahead of 'catastrophic' fire threat


SYDNEY (Reuters) - Authorities in Australia’s Queensland and New South Wales states declared a state of emergency on Monday as the country’s eastern region prepared for “catastrophic” fire conditions.

People in areas deemed at the greatest risk were urged to evacuate before forecast unprecedented hot and windy conditions on Tuesday, which officials fear will fan fires already burning.

Three people were killed and more than 150 homes were destroyed over the weekend by bushfires in northern New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland.

Lawmakers said the state of emergency - giving firefighters broad powers to control government resources, force evacuations, close ...


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