04:14 GMT +315 December 2018
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    A bushfire burns through scrub

    Massive Bushfires in Australian Queensland Force 8,000 to Evacuate (VIDEO)

    © AFP 2018 / BRENTON EDWARDS
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The authorities of Australia's northern state of Queensland have begun evacuating 8,000 people amid bushfires that are raging across the state, the ABC News broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

    According to the ABC, the authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of 8,000 people in the town of Gracemere due to a fast-moving fire. Capricornia, Central Highlands and Coalfields are also areas that have been declared as being at extreme risk. Residents of the Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach and Oyster Creek areas were alerted to an extremely large and intense fire that could spread to these areas within a day.

    The area affected by bushfires has reached 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) since Saturday with 138 fires burning across Queensland.

    Eight aircraft are helping fight the bushfires, including a large firefighting aircraft that has the capacity to drop 15,000 litres (4,000 gallons) of water.

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    bushfire, wildfire, Queensland, Australia
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