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Out-of-control fires claim three lives, destroy more than 150 homes …

Betty White

Out-of-control fires claim three lives, destroy more than 150 homes …

Three people are dead, five are unaccounted for and more than 150 homes have been destroyed as New South Waless unprecedented bushfire emergency …

NSW fires destroy at least 150 homes, three people dead – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Bushfire warning

For the latest updates on the bushfires in New South Wales, . For information on the bushfires in Queensland, .

NSW fires destroy at least 150 homes, three people dead

Updated

November 10, 2019 00:07:07

Three people are dead, five are unaccounted for and more than 150 homes have been destroyed as New South Wales’s unprecedented bushfire emergency continues through a second day.

One fire remains at emergency warning level in NSW — .

Firefighters said they found one body in a vehicle near Kangawalla, about 10 kilometres east of Glen Innes, where one of the most intense blazes took hold in the state’s north.

For more emergency information listen to:

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) confirmed on Saturday morning another person, a woman, died in hospital after she was found by authorities with severe burns near Glen Innes.

“The reports were initially burns to 40 to 50 per cent of her body,” RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

who died while protecting her home at Wytaliba, north west of Coffs Harbour.

Elsewhere, NSW Police said a body was found in a burnt-out building at Johns River, north of Taree on Saturday afternoon on the state’s mid-north coast.

The other people still unaccounted for are in the Glen Innes area, and Mr Fitzsimmons said the number was expected to increase.

“That is not necessarily a [reason] for alarm, but we cannot rule out that the really great concerns that there could be [more] fatalities,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Australian Defence Force would provide support to firefighters where required and financial assistance would be made available to people affected by the fires.

Authorities told the ABC 60 structures had been destroyed in the Glen Innes area, including homes, sheds and some buildings at the public school.

The town’s mayor Carol Sparks described the situation as “horrific”.

“The school was lost, [houses] were burnt, people were burnt, lives were lost,” she said.

“People battled to save their houses and then had to walk out because their cars had blown up, it was just horrific.”

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the NSW north coast bushfires as a catastrophe, meaning those affected will be prioritised by insurers with many policies including emergency accommodation.

In Nymboida, where the Liberation Trail fire has burnt through more than 49,000 hectares, residents spoke of their devastation.

Peter Simpson told ABC News said he had saved his home and was thankful to be safe.

“It was like an inferno, like the apocalypse,” he said.

“Every second house is gone … The village is gone. And surrounding houses, that I guarantee, most of Nymboida will be displaced because they’re going to have nowhere to live.

“I’m really sorry for every person in the area that’s lost out … My heart bleeds for them. There’s nothing that the firies could have done.”

As of 4:30pm Saturday, there were 81 fires burning across the state, with 36 uncontained.

Mr Fitzsimmons said a number of firefighters had been injured in battling the blazes, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.

“They have ranged from smoke inhalation to minor burns, to other injuries associated with slips and falls, through to serious lacerations to an arm,” he said.

More on the bushfire emergency:

There are about 1,000 firefighters on the ground with 300 support staff.

At Wallabi Point, 90 kilometres south-west of Port Macquarie, residents were spotted on Saturday morning sheltering from the Hillville fire, the remaining blaze at emergency level.

Speaking on Saturday morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the situation was “beyond serious”.

“These [are] fires that we have not seen before,” she said.

Homes were destroyed by a blaze at Hillville, south-west of Taree, which also ripped along the Pacific Highway and burnt trucks.

In Bobin, 85km south-west of Port Macquarie, several homes were destroyed and the school, which dates to 1883, was razed.

Speaking from his home, which was caught up in the Hillville fire, Mid Coast Council Mayor David West said he feared for people living in the area.

“It is a monster,” he said.

“It is such a tinder-dry environment, [and] the amount of water that we have available is critical at the moment.

“I plead with people that aren’t affected by the fires to ration what water they’re using, because it may get to the point where we need the water we have available, potable water, to fight the fires.

“It is that bad.”

In a Facebook post, the RFS said: “While conditions have eased compared to yesterday, Very High fire danger will continue for many areas today.”

Port Macquarie appeared apocalyptic on Friday as the sky turned red and thick dark smoke engulfed the regional centre.

Yesterday, there were multiple reports of people being trapped in their homes.

Some of the fires were so fierce they began creating their own weather systems.

Almost 1,200 firefighters and two large air tankers were deployed to fight the blazes on Friday.

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First posted

November 09, 2019 05:17:13

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