Australia’s most populous state declared a state of emergency on Monday due to unprecedented wildfire danger as calls grew for Australia to take more action to counter climate change.
New South Wales state Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said residents were facing what “could be the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen.”
Fires in the state’s northeast have claimed three lives, destroyed more than 150 homes and razed more than 970,000 hectares (3,700 square miles) of forest and farmland since Friday.
Doctors and paramedics have treated more than 100 people for fire-related injuries, including 20 firefighters, Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan said.
North of New South Wales, wildfires destroyed nine homes on Monday in Queensland state, where air quality plummeted in Brisbane, the state capital, and surrounding cities.
Fire conditions are forecast to be worse on Tuesday than they were at the peak of the current fire emergency on Friday.