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Queensland and NSW declare state of emergency amid fears extreme heat

Christian Fernsby |
Authorities in Australia's eastern states of Queensland and New South Wales declared a state of emergency on Monday as the region prepared for "catastrophic" fire conditions.

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eople in areas deemed at the greatest risk were urged to evacuate before Tuesday when unprecedented hot and windy conditions are forecast. Officials worry the combination of extreme heat and wind will fan fires already burning.

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

Officials said the state of emergency giving firefighters broad powers to control government resources, force evacuations, close roads and shut down utilities would remain in place for seven days.

"Everybody has to be on alert no matter where you are and everybody has to assume the worst and we cannot allow complacency to creep in," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

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