Australian state declares 7-day state of emergency over wildfires

The Australian state of New South Wales has declared a week-long state of emergency due to the deadly wildfires currently devastating the area. It’s the third state of emergency for the region since November.

State Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Thursday that the state of emergency would come into effect Friday morning, in anticipation of worsening conditions on Saturday.

Some residents are already evacuating the region, and any visitors who are in the tourist leave area are being asked to depart before Saturday.

A state of emergency means that emergency services will be able to close or open roads at will and forcibly evacuate members of the public.

At least 17 people have died since the start of the wildfire season in September, and 12 million acres of land have been burned. It’s also feared that nearly half a billion animals could be dead as a result of the widespread fires.

Firefighters from around the world are heading to Australia to support their peers on the ground. By Jan. 4, it’s estimated that 87 Canadian firefighters will be joining emergency services in New South Wales to help battle the ongoing blaze.

Temperatures are expected to reach above 40 C this weekend, with some relief in sight on Sunday, when rain is expected to fall.

Crews monitor fires and begin back burns between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in East Gippsland on Jan. 02 in Australia. The HMAS Choules docked outside of Mallacoota to evacuate thousands of people stranded in the remote coastal town following fires across East Gippsland, which have killed one person and destroyed dozens of properties. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Evacuations begin following East Gippsland bushfires
Crews monitor fires and begin back burns between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in East Gippsland on Jan. 02 in Australia. The HMAS Choules docked outside of Mallacoota to evacuate thousands of people stranded in the remote coastal town following fires across East Gippsland, which have killed one person and destroyed dozens of properties. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
This image, shared via Twitter, was taken by the EU's Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites of the fire-ravaged areas of New South Wales, Australia. (Twitter)
Satellite view of Australian wildfires
This image, shared via Twitter, was taken by the EU's Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites of the fire-ravaged areas of New South Wales, Australia. (Twitter)
The remains of a house destroyed by a bushfire is seen just outside Batemans Bay in New South Wales on Jan. 2, 2020. Australia authorized the forced evacuation of residents amid a mass exodus of tourists from fire-ravaged coastal communities, as the country braces for a weekend heatwave expected to fan deadly bushfires. (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)
New South Wales fires
The remains of a house destroyed by a bushfire is seen just outside Batemans Bay in New South Wales on Jan. 2, 2020. Australia authorized the forced evacuation of residents amid a mass exodus of tourists from fire-ravaged coastal communities, as the country braces for a weekend heatwave expected to fan deadly bushfires. (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Bushfires are seen between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in east Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020 in Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Evacuations begin following East Gippsland bushfires
Bushfires are seen between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in east Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020 in Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Cattle are seen under smoke filled skies in eastern Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Evacuations begin following East Gippsland bushfires
Cattle are seen under smoke filled skies in eastern Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
A swimming pool in the remains of a house destroyed by bushfires is seen just outside Batemans Bay in New South Wales on Jan. 2, 2020. (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)
New South Wales fires
A swimming pool in the remains of a house destroyed by bushfires is seen just outside Batemans Bay in New South Wales on Jan. 2, 2020. (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)
This picture taken on Dec. 31, 2019 shows a kangaroo trying to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales. Fire-ravaged Australia has launched a major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in seaside towns after deadly bushfires ripped through popular tourist areas on New Year's Eve. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
New South Wales fires
This picture taken on Dec. 31, 2019 shows a kangaroo trying to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales. Fire-ravaged Australia has launched a major operation to reach thousands of people stranded in seaside towns after deadly bushfires ripped through popular tourist areas on New Year's Eve. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Thick smoke from bushfires fills the air in East Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Evacuations begin following East Gippsland bushfires
Thick smoke from bushfires fills the air in East Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Bushfires are seen between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in east Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020 in Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Evacuations begin following East Gippsland bushfires
Bushfires are seen between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in east Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020 in Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Bushfires burn between the townships of Bemm River and Cann River in eastern Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Evacuations begin following East Gippsland bushfires
Bushfires burn between the townships of Bemm River and Cann River in eastern Gippsland on Jan. 02, 2020, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
A helicopter drops water on a bushfire just outside Batemans Bay in New South Wales on Jan. 2, 2020. (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP) (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)
New South Wales fires
A helicopter drops water on a bushfire just outside Batemans Bay in New South Wales on Jan. 2, 2020. (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP) (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)
Crews monitor fires and begin back burns between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in East Gipplsland on Jan. 02, 2020 in Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Evacuations begin following East Gippsland bushfires
Crews monitor fires and begin back burns between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in East Gipplsland on Jan. 02, 2020 in Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has declared a state of emergency for the next seven days ahead of worsening fire conditions across the state this weekend. Seven people have been confirmed dead since Dec. 20, 2019. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)
The control centre at New South Wales Rural Fire Service headquarters
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has declared a state of emergency for the next seven days ahead of worsening fire conditions across the state this weekend. Seven people have been confirmed dead since Dec. 20, 2019. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)
Thank you cards are seen at Rural Fire Service headquarters on Jan. 02, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)
Thank You Cards Left For Firefighters
Thank you cards are seen at Rural Fire Service headquarters on Jan. 02, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

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