Australia bushfires: Two dead in New South Wales blazes

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Three people are dead and more are missing after wildfires erupted on the southeastern coast of Australia, according to the New South Wales Police, fueled by more than two years of drought that has impacted nearly all of the region.

While firefighters will try to secure as many fires as possible over the next few days, Fitzsimmons said the reality was that they would "simply not be able to contain these fires".

"Where we thought we had koalas, we now think they've been incinerated", Sue Ashton, president of the koala hospital, told CNN affiliate Nine News Australia on Friday.

A firefighter works as a bushfire, believed to have been sparked by a lightning strike that has ravaged an area of over 2,000 hectares in northern New South Wales state, burns in Port Macquarie on November 2, 2019.

It's been 10 years since new Fire Danger ratings were introduced in the wake of Victoria's deadly Black Saturday fires.

"The declaration also prohibits welding, grinding and the use of oxy acetylene cutting or heating outdoors", said Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

There were still 75 bush or grass fires burning in NSW with 39 uncontained, the fire service said.

A firefighter keeps watch on another huge blaze at Old Bar.

She had packed her bags and her auto to try and escape the fire, however didn't make it out in time, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Sydney is preparing for an unprecedented day of fire danger, as conditions are forecast to deteriorate across the state on Tuesday.

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Ms Fletcher's body was discovered on Saturday night in a burnt-out home in the town of Johns River, 40km north of Taree on the mid-north coast.

The Premier said the declaration was a "precautionary stance" and advised NSW residents to be on high alert.

Earlier, Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons revealed two people had died in the Kangawalla fire at Diehard, 50 km east of Glen Innes in Northern NSW.

With thousands of people forced to flee from their homes, Australia's government was offering immediate emergency assistance payments of up to Aus$1,000 (US$685) to those affected and extended financial support for anyone unable to work as a result.

Twelve emergency warnings are in place, which means the fires are considered "very unsafe", per the fire service.

Despite his home still being in harm's way as fires continue to rage in Tinonee, Mr Annetts remained ready and willing to take up the fight late on Sunday afternoon.

Across the central coast, smoke could be seen billowing high into the sky and residents took to social media to post photos and videos of smoke-laden tangerine skies and flames engulfing storeys-tall eucalyptus within sight of their homes.

"We have seen the gravity of the situation unfold..." "We've got winds blowing, they're circling, it's like a cyclone".

People were also told to evacuate ahead of bushfires at Tarome in the Scenic Rim west of the Gold Coast and Thornton in the Lockyer Valley on Saturday but those warnings have been downgraded.

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