Australians across the country are facing a terrifying threat as towns across the country have been evacuated. Residents in vulnerable communities have been urged to leave their homes and seek shelter in shopping centres after three people were killed. On Sunday, more than 100 blazes were still alight across New South Wales and Queensland.
Firefighters across Australia are racing to contain widespread bushfires which have left three people dead and thousands bracing for disaster in the coming days.
Fire officials have warned that the raging infernos will stretch their ability to protect people.
At 1am AEDT (2pm BST), there were 64 fires burning across New South Wales, 37 of which were yet to be contained.
In total, 12 fires continue to burn at the Watch and Act alert level.
READ MORE: Bushfire MAP: New South Wales bushfires map – ‘unprecedented’ blazes
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service said in a statement: “Under these conditions, these fires will spread quickly and threaten homes and lives.”
According to images captured by NASA’s Terra Satellite, an unprecedented number of bushfires have erupted on the east coast of Australia due to the hot, dry and windy weather.
The NASA reports reads: “More than 100 bushfires have ignited and firefighters are rushing to quell the blazes in what they’ve dubbed “uncharted territory” in terms of size and number of the fires.
“New South Wales is dealing with drought-conditions and hot, windy weather contributes to the outbreak of these fires.
“Currently the fires stretch from the Blue Mountains to the border of Queensland which is seeing its own fire emergency with more than 50 blazes across that state.
“There is some hope that cooler weather coming in will assist with fighting the fires, but unfortunately the extended forecast looks for more hot, windy weather coming back next week.”
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Evacuated people in Queensland have spent the night in evacuation centres while officials assessed whether the risk level was low enough to enable them to return to their homes.
Cooler weather hit the country on Saturday, providing some reprieve, but high temperatures forecast for next week, as well as low humidity and strong winds have sparked concerns uncontainable wildfires will spread rapidly.
Queensland fire officials have warned residents severe fire danger is expected on Wednesday, with little reprieve expected this year.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services acting commissioner Mike Wassing told reporters: “There is really no rainfall, no significant rainfall, until at least the end of the year and possibly into the new year.”
On Friday, firefighters found the body of one victim in a burned-out car near Glen Innes, around 340 miles north of Sydney and in the same town on the same day, a woman who was found suffering from severe burns and was rushed to hospital, later died.
A third person’s body was found in a burned home near Taree.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to answer questions about whether climate change had contributed to these prolific fires.
He told reporters: “My only thoughts today are with those who have lost their lives and their families.”
Mr Morrison added that the military could be dispatched to support the 1,300 firefighters working in New South Wales and Queensland.