Australia wildfires claimed one life and destroyed at least 100 homes in New South Wales after forcing thousands to evacuate their homes.
Authorities warned on Friday more homes could be lost as fires burned out of control.
The blazes are continuing to burn on the outskirts of Sydney, despite the easing of temperatures and winds.
One man has died while trying to protect his home.
PM Tony Abbott visited Winmalee in the Blue Mountains, one of the areas worst-hit by the fires, around 45 miles west of Sydney.
Correspondents say bushfires are common in Australia but they have come earlier than normal this year, sparking concerns of further problems to come.
Australia wildfires claimed one life and destroyed at least 100 homes in New South Wales after forcing thousands to evacuate their homes
Hundreds of residents spent Thursday night in evacuation centres, with many returning home to find their houses razed.
Fire fighters described blazes as tall as 60 to 100ft.
A 63-year-old man died from a heart attack as he tried to defend his home in Lake Munmorah, in the Central Coast region of NSW, on Thursday afternoon.
Around 2,000 fire fighters across the state worked to try and contain the fires but many are still burning out of control.
PM Tony Abbott, in Winmalee, said of those helping to battle the fires: “These are ordinary people who, on an extraordinary day, come together to support their community and to protect their fellow Australians.”
At least three fire fighters have been reported injured.
The NSW Rural Fire Service said an initial assessment of the Winmalee and Springwood areas showed that 81 properties had been destroyed, with 37 damaged.
“Approximately 30% of the fireground has been assessed,” it said.
“The number of properties destroyed or damaged will rise.”
Reports estimate that as many as 200 homes could be lost in total.
The fires have been caused by unseasonably hot temperatures and strong winds. While these have now died down, more hot weather is forecast next week.
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Almost 9,000 residents of Wagga Wagga town in New South Wales have been ordered to leave their homes as floods continue in southeast Australia.
The Murrumbidgee river is predicted to peak at 10.9 m, sparking fears that the town’s levee may be breached.
Police, the military and the emergency services were all helping with the evacuation, local media said.
Days of heavy rain have caused flooding across three Australian states and left at least two people dead.
Parts of Queensland and Victoria are also affected.
On Tuesday, emergency personnel and officials in Wagga Wagga said they were ”monitoring” the rising water and the levee.
The expected peak is higher than a major flood in the area in 1974, and reportedly the highest since 1844, Australian media said.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard told reporters that military resources have been deployed and are standing by to render aid if necessary.
“We’ve got floodwaters across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria,” she said.
“For the people of Wagga particularly, this is a very anxious time.”
Almost 9,000 residents of Wagga Wagga town in New South Wales have been ordered to leave their homes as floods continue in southeast Australia
Police have gone door-to-door in the town to encourage people to leave.
“Should the levee fail and the water enters the CBD and other areas in Wagga Wagga, then people need to be in the evacuation centre, not in their homes or businesses,” said State Emergency Services deputy commissioner Dieter Geske.
There was no panic though and the scene was one of ”calm and reasoned emergency”, said Michael McCormack, the local MP.
“Down in the central business district of Wagga Wagga it resembles a scene from Escape from New York,” Michael McCormack told ABC News.
“There are cars coming in, there are cars coming out.”
Two men have been killed since the weekend, both swept away in their cars.
The first man was swept downstream over the weekend at Araluen in southern New South Wales as he tried to drive through the flood. His two companions were rescued.
On Monday a man died when his car was washed off a road in the town of Glenwood, near Gympie in southeast Queensland.
Authorities have cautioned people against trying to drive through floodwater.
Just last month thousands were evacuated in Queensland, which experienced its third major flood in less than two years. Parts of New South Wales were also cut off by severe flooding.