Residents in Australian state urged to flee as wildfires blaze


Residents in three areas in Australia's northern Queensland state were ordered to evacuate their homes on Wednesday, as bushfires burned out of control.

Firefighters including those flown in from across Australia and New Zealand have been battling blazes in the state that have already killed two and destroyed dozens of homes.

People in two adjacent areas, near the town of Dalveen, were on Wednesday ordered to evacuate immediately.

"Every Australian's heart goes out to the people... who are being impacted once again by these bushfires," Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers, whose electorate is in the state, told a news conference on Wednesday. "I really wanted to express our gratitude as well for all of the people who are reinforcing the efforts in those affected communities."

The blazes in the area also affected the neighbouring state of New South Wales (NSW) to the south.

"It was a pretty horrifying experience," NSW resident Michelle Balint told state broadcaster ABC on Wednesday, recounting a wall of flames racing across the family's land. "(We've) never seen anything like it."

Authorities on Wednesday imposed a third evacuation warning in the far north of the state, near Watsonville.

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