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5,000 flee Australian fires

‘Like flamethrowers’: Firefighter works to contain a bushfire in New South Wales PICTURE: EPA

WILD bushfires have destroyed dozens of homes in Australia as emergency crews warned of ‘a threat to lives’.

More than 5,000 people have fled their homes after flames tore through Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and northern New South Wales.

Residents spoke of fires ‘jumping roads like a flamethrower’ as they continued to rage yesterday. ‘Conditions are very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent flames advancing,’ Queensland’s fire service said. ‘The fire may pose a threat to all lives in its path.’

Prime minister Scott Morrison warned of a ‘volatile’ situation amid dry and windy conditions. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said Queensland should prepare for the ‘most catastrophic fire season in history’.