The Australian navy has begun evacuating hundreds of people trapped in the fire-ravaged town of Mallacoota on the Victoria coast.
Terming it an unprecedented mass relocation, MP Darren Chester said, two ships, will pick up about 1,000 people. Thousands of people are also fleeing neighbouring city of New South Wales where a state of emergency is in force. Since September fires have killed 19 people in the two states.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has come under attack for his response to the fires. He was heckled by angry locals in Cobargo, New South Wales, and had to cut short his visit to the fire-hit town.