Winds intensify NSW bushfires: 100 homes destroyed

Australian bushfires intensify, residents told to leave

& # 39; Unknown territory & # 39; while forest fires break out in eastern Australia | News – Up News Info

Firefighters found a body in a burned vehicle near Glen Innes, Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said.

The Australian state of New South Wales is in the grip of an unprecedented bush-fire crisis, with nearly fifty fires still out of control on Friday night despite the efforts of 1,200 firefighters and 70 fire-fighting planes. Seven people remain unaccounted for amid the blaze and over 30 have been injured.

Hundreds of people evacuated their homes along a 500-kilometer (310-mile) swathe of the eastern seaboard from the Queensland state border south to Forster.

Forster is a town 300 kilometres north of Sydney, Australia's largest city. Following an order from local fire authorities, thousands of residents fled their homes and spent the night in evacuation centers.

"It was pretty scary", Stewart said. "It's going to be horrific, I think".

"I've never seen the sky so red since 2000", Lean said.

At one point during the day there were more than 90 fires burning in the state with 57 out of control and 17 considered "emergency level". "We've got winds blowing, they're circling, it's like a cyclone".

"We keep talking about this, but the volatility of the fires is quite extraordinary".

While Ashton said the figures were not updated after Friday's renewed fires, she noted that around two-thirds of the koala's habitat in the area had been destroyed previously, and predicted that as many as 350 koalas may have perished in total.

One of the casualties is the state's vulnerable koala population, whose habitat has been largely wiped out in the fires.

The annual Australian fire season which peaks during the Southern Hemisphere summer has started early after an unusually warm and dry winter.

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