Australian PM admits mistakes in handling of fire crisis

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed regret over his handling of the bushfire crisis ravaging the country.

The PM has faced mounting criticism over his government's response to the bushfires and its climate policy.

Since September, bushfires have killed at least 28 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

On Sunday, Mr Morrison conceded there were "things I could have handled on the ground much better".

In recent weeks, Mr Morrison has been heckled by locals when visiting fire-hit communities in the states of New South Wales and Victoria, where the worst blazes are concentrated.

In the town of Cobargo in New South Wales, one woman demanded more resources for the fire service, while others called Mr Morrison an "idiot" and said "you won't be getting any votes down here".

"These are sensitive environments, they are very emotional environments," Mr Morrison said in a TV interview with ABC.

"Prime ministers are flesh and blood too in how they engage with these people."

Acknowledging the pressure fire services were facing, Mr Morrison said there was a "new appetite" for the government to take a more direct role in responding to the disaster.

The PM said he would seek a royal commission review - a type of public inquiry - into the country's response to the bushfire crisis.

Last month, Mr Morrison was criticised for going on holiday to Hawaii as the bushfire crisis worsened. The rising public anger at his absence eventually forced him to cut that trip short.