The New South Wales (NSW) premier, Gladys Berejiklian, declared on Thursday a second state of emergency during a news conference. This is the second state of emergency since the start of this year's devastating bush fire season, which reportedly has seen at least six persons killed and over 800 houses damaged.

During the announcement, Berejiklian repeatedly stressed that the situation in NSW is serious.

"The decision to declare a state of emergency is not taken lightly. You only declare states of emergency when it's absolutely necessary and on expert advice from commissioners. [...] You have to make sure that conditions are serious enough for that declaration to be made. You can't afford for people to be complacent", Berejiklian said, cited by The Daily Mail.

The measure reportedly gives additional authority for local firefighters to control and coordinate the allocation of government resources, close roads and evacuate residents.

Berejiklian added, however, that NSW authorities were not expecting conditions to be as catastrophic as they were during the previous state of emergency declared on 11 November.

Local authorities warned on Thursday that current weather conditions could complicate the situation and the city of Sydney could again be engulfed in smoke.

Australia has been hit by ravaging bush fires that have destroyed over a million hectares of forest, including sensitive koala habitats.