Ongoing wildfire disaster in Australia

The death toll jumped to at least 18 as the fire spreads to areas as large as Connecticut and New Jersey combined.
1:30 | 01/02/20

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Transcript for Ongoing wildfire disaster in Australia
Next tonight, the wildfire catastrophe in Australia, where the death toll has jumped dramatically. Millions of acres, the size of Connecticut and New Jersey combined, now scorched. The concern raising for not just human life, but the wildfire, as well. ABC's Maggie Rulli is in Australia tonight. Reporter: Tonight, after battling some of the worst conditions these firefighters have ever seen, it's an all-out war to gain the upper hand on the wildfires that have destroyed 1,200 homes and scorched more than 12 million acres. The death toll rising to 18. All of my possessions have been totally incinerated. Reporter: In the coastal town of mallacoota, 4,000 residents and tourists were forced to shelter on beaches. Some taking refuge on boats. The sky dark with smoke as fierce winds pushed flames toward them. The fires have been burning for months and have had a devastating effect on Australia's livestock and its precious wildlife. Has anyone got anymore? It's so thirsty. Reporter: Normally timid koalas, desperate for water, getting a helping hand from humans. Environmental officials say up to 30% of koalas in one hard-hit area may have been killed in the this koala hospital along the north coast tells us the animals they rescued this year were in the worst shape they have ever seen. Now, whit, as for the forecast, we're expecting stronger winds this weekend, coupled with higher temperatures, meaning it could be a recipe for disaster. Whit? Maggie, thank you.

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