One dead, at least 100 homes lost in Australia bushfires

A large bushfire in the Wollemi National Park near Lithgow west of Sydney

"It is a very volatile and very risky set of circumstances that we are experiencing right across these fire grounds in New South Wales", New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

The latest confirmed fatality comes after grandmother-of-six also lost her life as more than 90 bushfires rage across New South Wales and Queensland, destroying 150 homes and burning whole towns.

Firefighters and paramedics gave her first aid and CPR for hours at the burned-out property until she could be rushed to hospital, but she died on Saturday morning.

"I was the last one to speak to her". She was in absolute panic.

"We have never seen this many fires concurrently at emergency warning level".

Videos appeared on social media showing the conflagration as it swept through forests and residential areas in NSW.

Zoe Colligan, 20, was lucky to walk away alive with her one week old son Archer after a firestorm burned down her home in Koorainghat, just outside Taree.

The new mother and her son were able to escape the blaze, while her partner's parents stayed back to try and fight for their home and animals. "I tried so many times". "She was incredible. She was such a strong, loving woman".

The post read: "Currently as at 12.30pm Saturday 9 November, a fire continues to burn in the Cooroibah and Tewantin areas, travelling towards Noosa North Shore". "'The RFS can't get to her they are trying. the road down is a tunnel of fire".

Glen Innes Mayor Carol Sparks where the victims were killed, described the "horrific" fires.

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Another local, a man, was found dead in his burnt out vehicle near Wytaliba on Saturday morning.

The federal government has announced that immediate financial support will be made available to those hit by devastating bushfires in northern New South Wales. One patient suffered cardiac arrest, officials said.

The blazes have resulted in "significant and widespread damage and destruction" to people, families, home-owners and the wider community with reports of damage to other buildings including a school which was destroyed, Mr Fitzsimmons said.

NSW police said a body was found in a burnt-out home north of Taree, a town about 300 km (185 miles) north of Sydney.

The Red Cross says so far 1300 people have registered in eight evacuation centres across the state.

Wildfires have also been reported in the neighboring state of Queensland.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned, "we're not through the worst of it".

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, said that defence personnel were ready to help firefighters battle the bushfires. His warning came before the third victim was confirmed.

Fitzsimmons said of Saturday's weather: "Given the circumstances forecast for today which is a continuance of dry, windy conditions across an already very dry landscape, there's every likelihood that we'll see fires increase in their alert level".

The Insurance Council of Australia declared the wildfire crisis a "catastrophe", meaning insurance claims will be given priority.

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