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Thousands of tourists have been given less than 48 hours to evacuate fire-ravaged coastal communities as Australia braces for a heatwave Saturday expected to fan deadly bushfires.
Catastrophic blazes ripped through swathes of the continent’s south-east on New Year’s Eve, killing at least eight people and stranding holidaymakers as seaside towns were ringed by flames.
The New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service on Thursday morning declared a “tourist leave zone” stretching about 200 kilometres (124 miles) from the popular holiday spot of Bateman’s Bay along the usually picturesque south-east coast to neighbouring Victoria state, where people are also being urged to evacuate fire-threatened areas.
Visitors are being warned to leave before Saturday, which is forecast to bring gusting winds and temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Source: Thanks france24