Australia bushfires: Three dead and thousands forced from homes

Agency, 10 November : At least three people are dead and four missing in “unprecedented” bushfires in Australia. On Saturday, the fire emergency’s second day, officials warned the death toll was likely to continue to rise.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the military could be called upon to support the 1,300 firefighters currently tackling about 100 blazes.

Hundreds of civilians have also volunteered to help in affected areas in Queensland and New South Wales. “My only thoughts today are with those who have lost their lives and their families,” Mr Morrison added.

In Queensland, thousands of people spent the night in evacuation centres while officials assessed whether it was safe for them to return home.

Meanwhile fire officials in NSW confirmed that more than 150 homes had been destroyed. Gusty winds and up to 35C heat have exacerbated the fires, many of which are in drought-affected areas.

While clearing affected areas on Friday, fire crews discovered the body of one victim in a burned out car near Glen Innes, about 550km (340 miles) north of Sydney.

In the same town on the same day, a woman was found suffering from severe burns. She was rushed to hospital but died shortly afterwards.

On Saturday, NSW police confirmed that a third person had died after a body was found in a burnt-out home near Taree, a town about 300km north of Sydney.

Police said the home belonged to a woman aged 63, but that they wouldn’t be able to confirm their identity until a post-mortem had been carried out.

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