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Australians warned worst bushfires may be yet to come

A water bombing helicopter flies over a bushfire as residents look on in Forster New South Wales Australia on Nov 7 2019

As the state begins to count the devastating cost of the fires, three people have been confirmed dead and there are fears that number could rise, with more reported missing. "We need more action, we've got to stop this!"

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said Tasmanian fire fighters, deployed to NSW to help with the bushfire emergency, performed CPR and first aid on the victim for "several hours".

Catastrophic fire danger has been declared for the Sydney and Hunter regions on Tuesday with severe and extreme danger across vast tracts of the rest of the state.

More than 70 fires were burning across the state on Saturday morning, 39 uncontained, with five at emergency warning level.

Water-bombing aircraft are often flying long distances because of the difficulty of accessing water in dry areas.

Hot winds and temperatures in the 30s are forecast for Monday in the major fire zones in the Clarence Valley and Mid-North Coast, including Port Macquarie and Glen Innes.

"These conditions will be as bad, if not worse, than those experienced on Friday as they will be across a much broader area including large population centres like Sydney".

Glen Innes resident Carol Sparks was one of the 6,000 residents evacuated over the weekend.

A body was found in a burnt-out building near the east-coast town of Taree, police said, while another victim was found in a auto and a woman died despite medics trying for several hours to save her.

At that time, preliminary reports suggested more than 100 homes had been lost, Fitzsimmons said.

This is already one of Australia's worst bushfire seasons and it is occurring even before the start of the Southern Hemisphere summer, with parts of the country already crippled by severe drought. "It's going to be horrific, I think".

"We will be wanting as many firefighters available and on stand-by tomorrow".

Firefighters are bracing for another hard day as winds across NSW ramp up.

Firefighters found another body Saturday morning in a burned vehicle near Glenn Innes - a victim of the same fire that killed Chaplain.

Sydney is facing a "catastrophic" fire threat, authorities said on Sunday, as firefighters in eastern Australia raced to prepare for worsening conditions after ferocious bushfires devastated communities.

"Where we thought we had koalas, we now think they've been incinerated", Sue Ashton, president of the koala hospital, told CNN affiliate Nine News Australia on Friday.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison comforts 85-year-old evacuee Owen Whalan of Half Chain road in Koorainghat during a visit to Club Taree Evacuation Centre in Taree, New South Wales, Australia, November 10, 2019.

"We are seeing a situation in NSW with these fires we have not seen before", she said.

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott warned residents were facing what "could be the most unsafe bushfire week this nation has ever seen".

For the latest updates and current alert levels please visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website.