Record Bushfire Emergencies Hit Australian State, 2 Dead in New South Wales

At least two people were killed, 30 injured and seven missing in bushfires that swept through northern Australia, local media reported Saturday.

Australian authorities say an “unprecedented” number of emergency-level bushfires are threatening the state of New South Wales (NSW).

The fires have destroyed more than 100 homes and people trapped in their homes in several places, with crew unable to reach them due to the strength of the fires.

Gusty winds and up to 35C heat have exacerbated the fires, many of which are in drought-affected areas.

More than 80 blazes were raging across the state on Friday.  But fire authorities said that falling temperatures, increases in humidity and helicopter assistance were helping with efforts to tackle the blazes.

Rob Rogers, Executive Director Operations at the NSW Rural Fire Service, said   authorities tried their best to help residents affected by the fire.

More than 1,000 firefighters and 70 helicopters are battling blazes.

Last week, one blaze burned though 2,000 hectares of bush which contained a koala sanctuary.  Hundreds of the animals were feared to have died.

More than half the koalas living at another sanctuary may have also been killed by wildfires, according to charity Koala Conservation Australia.

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