The Australian state of New South Wales has declared a week-long state of emergency as the country’s raging bushfires continue into the new year.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service has urged holidaymakers to leave a 260km (160-mile) "tourist leave zone" along the coast before Saturday (4 January) with further "dangerous" weather conditions forecast for the weekend.
"Widespread extreme fire danger is forecast for Snowy Monaro this Saturday 4 January," said the fire service.
"These will be dangerous conditions, the same or worse than New Year’s Eve. If you are holidaying in the Snowy Monaro region, particularly in the areas identified on the map, you need to leave before Saturday."
Tourist Leave Zone - Snowy Monaro— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 2, 2020
Widespread extreme Fire Danger forecast for Snowy Monaro this Sat 4 Jan 2020. If you're holidaying in the Snowy Monaro Region, you need to leave before Sat. For road closure info go to @LiveTrafficNSW #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/NLkWubxqvC
The alert specifically concerns "the area of Jindabyne, Adaminaby, Berridale, Delegate, Providence Portal, Anglers Reach, Old Adaminaby", the fire service added.
New South Wales has declared a week-long state of emergency in response to the bushfires, which have so far claimed 18 lives since September.
More than a dozen people are still thought to be missing as the fires continued to spread across New South Wales and Victoria this week.
Local authorities are carrying out enforced evacuations in affected areas.
The Foreign Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice, warning of ongoing "serious bushfires" in multiple regions.
"Authorities in some regions have declared a state of emergency and ordered road closures and evacuations," said the FCO. "Poor air quality can occur some distance from the sites of the fires and provoke respiratory conditions.
"If you’re in or near an affected area or planning any travel, stay safe, monitor TV news, radio and social media channels for updates, and follow the instructions and advice of local authorities."