Two people found dead and 100 homes destroyed in Australian bushfires

Several killed, 100+ homes destroyed & koala habitat wiped out in Australia brush fires (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Several killed, 100+ homes destroyed & koala habitat wiped out in Australia brush fires (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

By Sunday afternoon, about half of the more than 70 fires burning in New South Wales were still not under control, with two burning at an emergency level.

Firefighters tackle a bushfire to save a home in Taree, 350km north of Sydney.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons on Friday said there were preliminary reports of minor injuries to both firefighters and members of the general public.

In an update they wrote: "Searching of the fire site has started and 7 koalas have been brought to the Hospital for treatment".

But fire authorities said that falling temperatures, increases in humidity and helicopter assistance were helping with efforts to tackle the blazes. At the peak of the blaze on Friday night, 17 emergency level fires were burning.

Vivian Chaplain, 69, died while protecting her home at Wytaliba, north-west of Coffs Harbour.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned residents across the state to brace themselves, as the worst of the "unprecedented fire conditions" may not be over.

Last week, one blaze burned though 2,000 hectares of bush which contained a koala sanctuary.

It has urged people affected by the fires on the north coast and northern NSW areas or knowing someone who is to register with the Red Cross. "It used to be God's country, but it ain't any more", said another neighbour, 72-year-old Dave Scott.

Strong winds are pushing thick smoke across the Tasman along with orange dust that's been settling in some areas.

"It's just a fine layer, so when you look on white surfaces and in the auto, the vehicle is where it shows it up the most. kind of like a pollen is in the spring time off pine trees which is bright yellow, but this is a really ochre red".

"It was pretty scary", Stewart said.

The sun above Lake Hawea as the NSW fires burn.

The current disaster has not wreaked the human devastation of Australia's worst recent bushfires, the Black Saturday fires that killed 173 people in Victoria state in 2009, with some experts attributing that to better early warning systems.

Bushfires are raging in the states of Queensland and New South Wales in extremely high temperatures.

The NSW Police reported Saturday morning that a third person was confirmed dead after their body was found in a burnt-out building north of Taree, about 215 miles north of the capital of Sydney.

Several people are still said to be unaccounted for and 30 more have been injured - mostly firefighters forced to work for hours on end in smokey, hot and smouldering scrubland and blazing forests of towering eucalyptus.

"It was like an inferno, like the apocalypse", he said. And surrounding houses, that I guarantee, most of Nymboida will be displaced because they're going to have nowhere to live.

There are about 1000 firefighters on the ground with 300 support staff.

"And that is not only trickier in New South Wales, we know of similar types of conditions that we are seeing in Western Australia on Tuesday as well". One patient suffered cardiac arrest, officials said.

More than 80 fires are burning across the state with more than 40 uncontained.

- At least two people have died and 100 homes have been destroyed as an unprecedented number of bushfires tore through eastern Australia.

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