Three fires have combined to form a single blaze bigger than Manhattan becoming to most catastrophic in the already devastating bushfires.
The fires joined overnight in the Omeo region in Victoria state, creating a 23 square mile blaze according to Gippsland’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
In the neighbouring state of New South Wales, the fire in Wollondilly region south of the capital Sydney remains “out of control”. It has burned 1,020 square miles of land in recent months.
The extreme weather conditions predicted for Saturday by the country’s Bureau of Meteorology, warns winds are picking up and temperatures increasing.
The death toll has climbed to 23 and over 1,500 homes were destroyed since the fire season began in September.
Victoria has declared a state of disaster and NSW has declared a state of emergency.
On Saturday, Morrison announced the deployment of up to 3,000 Australian Defense Force Reserve troops to affected states. Four planes will also be leased by the government to provide water bombing, while the navy’s largest ship, HMAS Adelaide, will be mobilized to evacuate citizens along the coast.