As of 24 December 2019, more than 100 bushfires — nearly 60 of which remain uncontained — are continuing to burn across Australia’s eastern coast, primarily in the state of New South Wales (NSW). In the town of Balmoral, located approximately 120 km (75 mi) southwest of Sydney, the Green Wattle Creek fire spread to more than 200,000 hectares (494,210 acres), destroying at least 10% of homes in the town; the fire remains out of control as of 24 December. Meanwhile, at approximately 1755 local time (0655 UTC) on 23 December, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service issued an emergency warning that a bush fire burning in the Forest Road, Comberton area had reached 2,200 hectares and was also out of control. The Princes Highway was closed between South Nowra and Conjola. Thus far, the fires have consumed an estimated 3 million hectares of land and have destroyed more than 1,000 homes. At least nine wildfire-related fatalities have been reported.
Live updates regarding ongoing bushfires and potential evacuation orders across NSW are available here. Additionally, travelers to Australia’s eastern coastline should monitor air quality conditions, some of which have reached “hazardous” levels in recent days.