Australia fires: Traffic jam as thousands flee "tourist leave zone"

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Thousands of people are fleeing a massive “tourist leave zone” in Australia as they were warned devastating bushfires are likely to worsen and a state of emergency was called.

New South Wales (NSW) premier Gladys Berejiklian has declared the seven-day state of emergency starting at 9am Friday local time (9pm Thursday UK time), allowing forced evacuations and road closures.

Long lines of cars were seen clogging highways back to Sydney and Canberra after the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) told holidaymakers they had to leave a 260km (160-mile) stretch of coast.

“If you are holidaying… you need to leave before this Saturday,” the service warned.

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