Three People Now Confirmed Dead With Five Unaccounted For In NSW Bushfires

Cheryl Sanders
November 10, 2019

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) confirmed two people had been killed by a fire near Glen Innes, more than 550 km (340 miles) north of Sydney.

"Catastrophic is the highest level of bush fire danger".

It previously said that many people have called for help but the size and speed of the fires means they can't get to everyone.

The revived brush fires - which have burned intermittently across eastern Australia for months- picked up in intensity on Friday, destroying over 100 homes in New South Wales (NSW).

NSW Rural Fire Service fire behaviour analyst Simon Heemstra described the upcoming conditions as "very hot, very dry and very windy".

'These are really extraordinary circumstances, particularly at this time of the year, at the beginning of the season or before the normal bushfire season, ' Mr Albanese said.

In Queensland, more than 1,200 firefighters were battling 51 active fires across the state on Sunday, with 39 aircraft deployed to assist for the first time ever in the state.

They received a briefing on the unprecedented firestorms at the Mid-North Coast Fire Control Centre in Wauchope on Sunday, where they were told firefighters have found it hard to contain and access some fire areas.

"We're talking about schools being destroyed, we're talking about community halls, bridges, power poles", he said.

Mr Fitzsimmons said along with the 1300 firefighters on the ground right now from across Australia and New Zealand, they were in contact with colleagues from Canada and the USA for possible help in light of Tuesday's predicted forecast.

Another seven people have been reported missing in the vicinity of the same fire.

More than 30 people including firefighters received medical treatment for burns and one patient had a cardiac arrest.

They were also in discussions with the Australian Defence Force.

A woman who was found unconscious and with serious burns Friday near Glen Innes died in a hospital, he said.

Bushfires are common in Australia but the country has experienced a dramatic start to what scientists predict will be a tough fire season - with climate change and weather cycles contributing to the risky combination of strong winds, high temperatures and dry conditions.

In Victoria, a total fire ban has been issued in Mallee in the state's north-west, with conditions expected to be severe on Monday.

Sixteen structures, including homes and sheds, have been damaged or destroyed by the Cobraball fire but there has been no loss of life. Many spent the night in evacuation centres while some slept in cars.

An inferno consumes a home near Taree on the NSW mid-north coast.

"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. "We've got winds blowing, they're circling, it's like a cyclone".

Five people were listed by authorities as missing on Saturday afternoon, but local media said Sunday they had now been accounted for. At least one house was lost, a firefighter suffered a broken leg and 6,000 residents were evacuated from three communities in the state's southeast.

According to Sky News, the local authority wrote: "Tuesday 12 November will be a unsafe day".

Other reports by iNewsToday