Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 3,000 reserve troops will be deployed to help tackle raging bushfires across the country.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said this is the first time this has happened in Australia’s history.
Temperatures have surpassed 40C (104F) in parts of south-east Australia. Officials had warned that Saturday was set to be a “dangerous day”.
Since September, fires in Australia have killed at least 23 people.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Mr Morrison told reporters: “We have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.”
Dozens of people are missing and some 1,500 homes have already been lost this fire season.