Australian firefighters warned they were in "uncharted territory" as they struggled to contain more than a dozen out-of-control bushfires across the east of the country on Friday. Around a hundred blazes pockmarked the New South Wales and Queensland countryside, around 15 of them remained dangerous and uncontained late Friday.
More than 1,000 firefighters and 70 aircraft had been deployed to battle the blaze, fire authorities told the ABC. "It is a very volatile and very dangerous set of circumstances that we are experiencing right across these fire grounds in New South Wales," New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.
In Queensland, people in several towns including Cooroibah and Tewantin, with a combined population of around 6,500, were told to leave by the state's fire and emergency services. Australia had an early and fierce start to its bushfire season, with an elderly couple killed in a blaze in October.