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A third person is confirmed dead in 'catastrophic' bushfires ravaging the east coast as harrowing footage shows a man helplessly watching the blaze destroy his home

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 5 days ago Kylie Stevens and Nic White and Charlie Coe For Daily Mail Australia

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A third person has been confirmed dead in the raging bushfires that has caused widespread devastation on the New South Wales north coast. 

The body was found in a burnt-out building on Saturday afternoon after fires swept through the township of Johns River near Taree.

a blurry image of a person: Vivian Chaplain, 69, died trying to protect her home and animals near Wytaliba © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Vivian Chaplain, 69, died trying to protect her home and animals near Wytaliba According to police, the burnt out home belongs to a woman, 63, but said a post-mortem examination will be required to confirm identity and cause of death.

Police are speaking with the woman's family and have initiated inquiries as they prepare a report for the coroner. 

It comes as harrowing footage obtained by Seven News has emerged of a man helplessly watching in despair as his home Rainbow Flat near Taree was gutted by raging bushfire.

a lot of smoke around it: At least 100 homes have been destroyed and a body has been found in a burnt-out car as more than a dozen bushfires rage across New South Wales (pictured bushfire near Taree on state's mid-north coast) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited At least 100 homes have been destroyed and a body has been found in a burnt-out car as more than a dozen bushfires rage across New South Wales (pictured bushfire near Taree on state's mid-north coast) The devastated occupant can do nothing but watch on as his home is engulfed by flames and smoke before parts of the roof collapse.

Despite firefighters quickly arriving on scene to battle the blaze, their desperate attempts to save the home from extensive damage are in vain.

More than 150 homes in NSW have been lost so far. 

a pile of hay: More than thirty people have been injured in the fires. Pictured are the remains of a boarding kennels in Taree on Saturday morning © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited More than thirty people have been injured in the fires. Pictured are the remains of a boarding kennels in Taree on Saturday morning The latest confirmed fatality comes after grandmother-of-six also lost her life as more than 90 bushfires rage across New South Wales and Queensland, destroying 150 homes and burning whole towns. 

Vivian Chaplain, 69, died trying to protect her home and animals near Wytaliba, northwest of Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.

She was found about 7pm on Friday after a blaze ripped through her property near Glen Innes, unconscious and suffering horrific burns over 40 to 50 per cent of her body.

Firefighters and paramedics gave her first aid and CPR for hours at the burned-out property until she could be rushed to hospital, but she died on Saturday morning. 

a close up of a map: A total of 77 bushfires were still burning on NSW's mid-north coast and south-eastern Queensland at 7am on Saturday, with 42 of them out of control © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A total of 77 bushfires were still burning on NSW's mid-north coast and south-eastern Queensland at 7am on Saturday, with 42 of them out of control Ms Chaplain became trapped when her property was cut off and the wooden bridge into her area burned and collapsed. Her family desperately tried to reach her but couldn't get through.

'Our shed paddock is on fire Viv is alone can some one help, anyone please... boys are on the way down if they can get through,' her daughter-in-law Chrystal Harwood said in a desperate plea on Facebook on Friday.

'The RFS can’t get to her they are trying... the road down is a tunnel of fire.' 

a pile of wood in a yard: NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said of the more than 30 injuries, 19 were to firefighters and 16 to members of the public (remains of the boarding kennels at Taree pictured) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said of the more than 30 injuries, 19 were to firefighters and 16 to members of the public (remains of the boarding kennels at Taree pictured)

Later she said Ms Chaplain was found but badly burned, and on Saturday morning she broke the sad news that she had died in hospital.

'We just felt so helpless trying to get to her. I was the last person to speed to her she was in a panic,' she said. 

a bench in front of a fence: The remains of a B Double trailer were left smouldering on the Pacific Highway south of Taree after bushfires swept through © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The remains of a B Double trailer were left smouldering on the Pacific Highway south of Taree after bushfires swept through A firefighter discovered the body of fellow Wytaliba local George in a burnt-out car on Old Grafton Road in Diehard on Saturday morning at the Kangawalla fire near Glen Innes. 

'This is devastating, George was such a beautiful man. Such a tragedy,' another local wrote.

a tree with snow on the ground: A charred tree lay across the Pacific Highway on Saturday morning as the burnt-out bush smouldered by the roadside © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A charred tree lay across the Pacific Highway on Saturday morning as the burnt-out bush smouldered by the roadside More than 1,300 firefighters are battling blazes across NSW as officials admit the situation is 'beyond serious' and hot, dry weather forecasts mean 'we're not through the worst of it'.

More than thirty people are injured and on Friday night firefighters warned they were tackling 'unprecedented' blazes and were in 'uncharted territory' as they struggled to reach homes where people were trapped.

a dog sitting on the seat of a car posing for the camera: Sharon Ashby (right), her son Nicholas and their two dogs Dexter and Cinnamon had to flee their Old Bar home © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Sharon Ashby (right), her son Nicholas and their two dogs Dexter and Cinnamon had to flee their Old Bar home

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warned that the death toll was likely to climb and that the dire bushfire situation was far from over.

Related: Wildfires around the world in 2019 (Photos)

'Clearly, given the enormity of the occasion, and the events of yesterday and already some of the compelling information that's coming from these fire grounds, we need to be attuned to the fact that we could see more casualty and more loss,' he said on Saturday morning.

a house with trees in the background: A water bombing plane drops fire retardant on a fire in Harrington at the mouth of the Manning River on NSW north coast © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A water bombing plane drops fire retardant on a fire in Harrington at the mouth of the Manning River on NSW north coast NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned the state was 'not through the worst' of the devastating bushfires and that with seven people unaccounted for the could be more deaths.

'There are at least seven people unaccounted for and I'm sorry to say that number can increase during the day,' she said. 

'Our thoughts and prayers of course go to the families and loved ones of those two deceased persons.'

a view of a canyon: The aftermath of a fire that ripped across a highway in rural NSW, destroying a truck its driver was forced to abandon © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The aftermath of a fire that ripped across a highway in rural NSW, destroying a truck its driver was forced to abandon Premier Berejiklian praised the work of volunteer firefighters risking their lives to battle the out-of-control blazes, and thanked other states for sending resources to help.

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said there was 'no sugar-coating' that the state was going to have a 'bad week' with bushfires, but that it had the tools and people to confront the threat.

'Some of [the volunteer firefighters] are actually having their own homes at risk at the moment,' he said.

'They have walked away from protecting their own homes to protect the homes of those that they may not even know.'

a truck driving down a dirt road: Reddestone RFS was one of three trucks to make it into the Wytaliba community on Friday before the bridge burned © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Reddestone RFS was one of three trucks to make it into the Wytaliba community on Friday before the bridge burned Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised $1,000 for every person affected by the fire and $400 per child.

'Our main thoughts and prayers are with those that have been so directly and horribly impacted by these fires,' he said on Saturday afternoon.

a truck traveling down a dirt road: Trucks gathered at Taree Service Centre as smoke billows from a bushfire at Taree on Friday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Trucks gathered at Taree Service Centre as smoke billows from a bushfire at Taree on Friday 'Those who have lost loved ones and those who will loan they have lost loved ones in the not too distant future. Those who have lost homes, those who are sitting in the smaller ruins of properties that once stood, they are the ones that Australians will be thinking of today. 

Massive clouds of billowing smoke are visible from thousands of metres in the air where this plane was flying overhead on Saturday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Massive clouds of billowing smoke are visible from thousands of metres in the air where this plane was flying overhead on Saturday 'I want them to be assured of the kindness, love and support of their fellow Australians and that the government's will be doing anything they can, not just to relieve them from this immediate situation but to be there and the recovery in the weeks and months and years ahead. 

This satellite image from Saturday shows a build up of smoke and heat over the NSW mid north coast devastated by bushfires © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited This satellite image from Saturday shows a build up of smoke and heat over the NSW mid north coast devastated by bushfires Mr Morrison also noted that Western Australia was on high alert for bushfires as the weather conditions there meant one could break out and quickly spread at any time. 

a yellow fire hydrant in front of a sunset: More than 1,300 firefighters are battling blazes across NSW as officials admit the situation is 'beyond serious' and hot, dry weather forecasts mean 'we're not through the worst of it' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited More than 1,300 firefighters are battling blazes across NSW as officials admit the situation is 'beyond serious' and hot, dry weather forecasts mean 'we're not through the worst of it' At least 36 fires were also burning in Queensland, but better weather conditions meant there was no threat to homes or lives on Saturday.  

a person wearing a helmet: Some volunteer firefighters left their own homes, which were also under threat from the fires, to protect those of complete strangers © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Some volunteer firefighters left their own homes, which were also under threat from the fires, to protect those of complete strangers

A terrifying audio recording captured the moment five NSW RFS volunteers were trapped by three fire fronts in the Taree region of the state's mid-north coast. 

a group of clouds in the sky: Firefighters work to contain a bushfire along Old Bar road in Old Bar, NSW, on Saturday - one of 70 fires still burning © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Firefighters work to contain a bushfire along Old Bar road in Old Bar, NSW, on Saturday - one of 70 fires still burning 'We have been trapped by a falling tree, over,' the firefighters could be heard saying over the service's emergency radio before narrowly escaping the advancing flames by driving over the tree.  

fireworks in the night sky: Embers from a tree are seen burning as the fires rage on throughout NSW's coastal towns © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Embers from a tree are seen burning as the fires rage on throughout NSW's coastal towns Commissioner Fitzsimmons said the situation was going to get worse because weather ideal for bushfires was forecast over the next week.

a tree with a sunset in the background: Hot windy conditions have seen bushfires wreak havoc throughout the state (pictured fire in Woodford in the Blue Mountains, NSW) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Hot windy conditions have seen bushfires wreak havoc throughout the state (pictured fire in Woodford in the Blue Mountains, NSW) He also warned that the drought across much of NSW, and expected weather in coming months, meant the state was looking at a catastrophic fire season. 

a herd of cattle walking across a grass covered field: Residents evacuate themselves and their animals to a park in Old Bar as the fire moves in on the small town © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Residents evacuate themselves and their animals to a park in Old Bar as the fire moves in on the small town 'Not only is it about next week, but, unfortunately, the forecast for the balance of the season continues to be driven by above-normal temperatures, below-average rainfall, to dominate over the coming months,' he said.

LPG cylinders are seen after being moved away from a service station by firefighters along Old Bar road in Old Bar, NSW © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited LPG cylinders are seen after being moved away from a service station by firefighters along Old Bar road in Old Bar, NSW 'If you put that across this extremely drought-stricken landscape, where you have no moisture in the ground... a flammability of the fuel which is seeing extraordinary fire behaviour, fire spreading and burning very intensely, very aggressively… with spot fire activity doubling or tripling what would normally be expected in the conditions that we have been experiencing.

a waterfall in the snow: Massive plumes of smoke are visible from space and some of the smoke has made it all the way to New Zealand © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Massive plumes of smoke are visible from space and some of the smoke has made it all the way to New Zealand

'The flammability, the lack of moisture in the vegetation, is making it so susceptible to ignition, that many embers are leading well ahead of the main fire front, taking hold, starting fires, and rapidly accelerating the movement of fire across the landscape and into different communities.

a man riding on the back of smoke: Firefighters work to save a house as they contain a bushfire along Old Bar road in Old Bar, NSW © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Firefighters work to save a house as they contain a bushfire along Old Bar road in Old Bar, NSW 'The risk is real, the risk is here, the consequences are absolutely apparent and evident over the last few weeks and particularly highlighted in the last 24 hours. 

a plane flying over a forest: A water bombing helicopter attacks a bushfire near houses along Old Bar road in Old Bar, NSW © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A water bombing helicopter attacks a bushfire near houses along Old Bar road in Old Bar, NSW 'We have got the worst of our fire season still ahead of us. We're not even in summer yet.' 

a person standing next to a tree: The fires have been burning through various NSW towns on Friday night with the blaze expected to last for hours to come © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The fires have been burning through various NSW towns on Friday night with the blaze expected to last for hours to come Commissioner Fitzsimmons described how the dead man's body was found in the car by one of the service's volunteers who was trying to identify unaccounted-for people.

'One of our senior volunteer commanders has come across a burnt-out vehicle and the remains of somebody has been located inside that vehicle,' he told the ABC.

a view of a city at night: Bushfires are burning close to homes in Woodford (pictured) on Friday night with fires expected to continue into the night © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Bushfires are burning close to homes in Woodford (pictured) on Friday night with fires expected to continue into the night 'Clearly, that's very distressing and our thoughts and prayers to those that are affected and particularly the family and loved ones of the occupant of this vehicle.' 

a close up of a map: The NSW Rural Fire Service issued said 12 'emergency warnings' (pictured in red) were still in place for blazes from the Blue Mountains to the Queensland border © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The NSW Rural Fire Service issued said 12 'emergency warnings' (pictured in red) were still in place for blazes from the Blue Mountains to the Queensland border

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said of the more than 30 injuries, 19 were to firefighters and 16 to members of the public. 

He said firefighters were dealing with a very dynamic, volatile and dangerous set of circumstances.

'We are in uncharted territory... we've never seen this many fires concurrently at emergency warning level,' he said.  

a traffic light on a city street at night: Crews from the NSW RFS are conducting property protection as the blaze continues to burn through houses on Railway Parade in Woodford, NSW (pictured) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Crews from the NSW RFS are conducting property protection as the blaze continues to burn through houses on Railway Parade in Woodford, NSW (pictured) Carol Sparks, mayor of Glen Innes, where both victims were killed, lost her own home and described the devastation the town went through so soon after other bushfires hit the area.

'The school was lost, [houses] were burnt, people were burnt, lives were lost.People battled to save their houses and then had to walk out because their cars had blown up, it was just horrific,' she told the ABC. 

The fire in Glen Innes is so bad that 164 minimum-security inmates had to be evacuated from the local jail to Grafton.

'Staff from Glen Innes, Grafton and our Security Operations Group did an outstanding job under such circumstances to ensure everyone's safety,' NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin said. 

a group of people on a beach: Smoke from the raging bushfires was visible as far away as Tuncurry, on the NSW Mid North Coast on Saturday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Smoke from the raging bushfires was visible as far away as Tuncurry, on the NSW Mid North Coast on Saturday Grafton prisoners stayed locked in their cells and the evacuated Glen Innes inmates were housed in other parts of the jail. 

a sandy beach next to the ocean: The billowing smoke was an eerie contrast to the crystal blue water and otherwise cloudless sky © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The billowing smoke was an eerie contrast to the crystal blue water and otherwise cloudless sky The NSW Rural Fire Service issued said 12 'emergency warnings' were still in place for blazes from the Blue Mountains to the Queensland border.

In Wallabi Point, where one of the emergency level fires was still blazing on Saturday morning, there were reports of an entire street in the town had been wiped out.

clouds in a blue sky: Fire chiefs warned the situation was going to get worse because weather ideal for bushfires was forecast over the next week © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Fire chiefs warned the situation was going to get worse because weather ideal for bushfires was forecast over the next week 'We have a massive fireball storm from the south and it has sprung up in the last half an hour. There are flames that have to be 60 foot high,' resident Peter Lean told the Today show.   

'I have never seen the sky so red since 2000. The whole street at the end of the roundabout is gone.' 

a river with a city in the background: A visitor to the Mt Coottha lookout is seen as smoke haze as a result of bushfires blankets central Brisbane © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A visitor to the Mt Coottha lookout is seen as smoke haze as a result of bushfires blankets central Brisbane The Block contestants Deb and Andy Saunders had to flee their home in the small town and are staying in a relief centre with other Wallabi Point residents.

'He was saying that there were eight-storey flames a hundred metres from his home, and he was obviously very concerned,' The Block host Scott Cam said.

a group of people walking down the street: NSW Rural Fire Service personnel conduct property protection as a bushfire burns in Woodford © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited NSW Rural Fire Service personnel conduct property protection as a bushfire burns in Woodford 'At this stage, his house is safe, his family is safe. And he's in really good spirits considering the situation he's in.'

a man driving a car: A firefighter is seen on the job as the RFS conduct property protection at Woodford, as bushfires ravage the state © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A firefighter is seen on the job as the RFS conduct property protection at Woodford, as bushfires ravage the state

In Queensland, firefighters have been stretched to the limit as hot and dry conditions along with strong winds turned towns to tinderboxes. 

A resident hoses smouldering logs at property in Woodford, where hot, windy conditions have wreaked havoc © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A resident hoses smouldering logs at property in Woodford, where hot, windy conditions have wreaked havoc One resident in the small town of Bobin, near Taree, posted on social media that the local school was on fire and at least one resident was trapped. 

The school has reportedly been destroyed in the inferno in Bobin as well as many as 20 houses. 

a man with a sunset in the background: There are currently 15 fires burning at emergency levels across NSW as firefighters work hard to control the blaze © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited There are currently 15 fires burning at emergency levels across NSW as firefighters work hard to control the blaze Two homes have been lost in Coraki, south of Lismore.

The smoke from the fires was combining to create 'fire clouds' which can create lightning even in the absence of rain or storm activity.

a person standing in front of a sunset: A school in Bobin has reportedly been destroyed with as many as 20 houses as more than 1000 firefighters try to battle the blazes throughout NSW © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A school in Bobin has reportedly been destroyed with as many as 20 houses as more than 1000 firefighters try to battle the blazes throughout NSW 'These (fire clouds) are extremely dangerous. Do not be caught out in the open,' the NSW RFS said.

Fire crews have been forced to take shelter in nearby creeks as they continue to battle the raging fires. 

a man that is standing in the snow: Residents watch on as a bushfire burns in Woodford, New South Wales, on Friday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Residents watch on as a bushfire burns in Woodford, New South Wales, on Friday Commissioner Fitzsimmons described the fires as both 'volatile' and 'unprecedented'.

'To have 17 fires concurrently burning at emergency warning alert level is without precedent here in NSW. We've never had this many fires burning at the same time,' he said. 

a person riding on the back of a truck: Firefighters and trucks are seen during conduct property protection, as fires ravage New South Wales © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Firefighters and trucks are seen during conduct property protection, as fires ravage New South Wales The commissioner urged people to stay where they were, as in many cases the access road to leave was more dangerous than their homes.

'You've got to understand a lot of the access roads in and around many of these fires are more dangerous than staying in a shelter or a safer place in your local community or your property,' he told the ABC.

'The principal message is about sheltering and sheltering in place - it's simply too dangerous and too late to leave.'  

a man riding on the back of a truck: A firefighter from the RFS runs down the road during bushfires in NSW. A firetruck is seen in the background © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A firefighter from the RFS runs down the road during bushfires in NSW. A firetruck is seen in the background

RFS is urging those affected, or who have loved ones affected by the fires, to check the Register Find Reunite site. 

Thousands of Queenslanders were forced to evacuate on Friday after the inferno came within just kilometres of Brisbane's city centre, and a multitude of fires broke out from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast.

a person flying through the air: Residents watch on as an Aircrane water bombing helicopter flies by their property in Harrington © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Residents watch on as an Aircrane water bombing helicopter flies by their property in Harrington Residents of Scenic Rim, about 90 minutes south-west of Brisbane, have two dangerous bushfires burning on either side of them, with winds expected to increase throughout a hot, dry night.

One of them is a blaze at Tarome, a rural hamlet some 80km southwest of Brisbane, that is expected to affect the little community by early evening.

a close up of clouds in the dark: The sun is seen through heavy smoke as a bushfire burns in Woodford on Friday afternoon © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The sun is seen through heavy smoke as a bushfire burns in Woodford on Friday afternoon The other blaze is at Clumber and Moogerah, where a prepare to leave order has been issued.

'Today has been a difficult and dangerous day. The bush fire threat is expected to continue for many hours,' RFS wrote on Facebook. 

'Homes, buildings and facilities have been destroyed today. The exact number won't be known for some time, as Building Impact Assessment Teams inspect the widespread area that has been affected.

a plane flying in the air: A water tanker airplane drops fire retardant on a bushfire in Harrington on Friday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A water tanker airplane drops fire retardant on a bushfire in Harrington on Friday 'Numerous people have called for help today - and due to the magnitude and speed of the fires, we haven't been able to get to everyone, even by road or helicopter.' 

Shocking photos showed the flames perilously close to homes near Taree and the streets of Grafton clouded in a thick red haze.

More than 90 fires were burning on Friday evening, with the NSW Rural Fire Service issuing 16 'emergency warnings' for blazes from the Blue Mountains to the Queensland border © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited More than 90 fires were burning on Friday evening, with the NSW Rural Fire Service issuing 16 'emergency warnings' for blazes from the Blue Mountains to the Queensland border A mayor on the state's mid-north coast said the bushfires ripping through the region were 'horrifying and horrendous beasts'.

Mid-Coast Council mayor David West says he's anguished as residents brace themselves in the face of volatile fire conditions near Taree.

'From my personal perspective, it's horrifying,' he told AAP on Friday afternoon.

'I've never felt a sense of anguish that I do now, the fear for my community.'

a large waterfall: Smoke from the fires raging across the New South Wales mid-north coast and up towards the Queensland border could be seen from space © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Smoke from the fires raging across the New South Wales mid-north coast and up towards the Queensland border could be seen from space

Mr West said a fire near Forster threatened a council building on Thursday night.

'It was literally a wall of yellow, horrible, beastly, tormenting flames,' the mayor said.

'It was a horrendous beast.'

a car driving down a street next to a palm tree: A shocking photo showed the streets of Grafton clouded in a thick red haze as more than a dozen fires rage across the state © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A shocking photo showed the streets of Grafton clouded in a thick red haze as more than a dozen fires rage across the state The mayor - who lives in Brimbin - is particularly concerned about an out-of-control fire burning near Hillville south of Taree. 

The Pacific Highway was on Friday closed in both directions between Taree and Bulahdelah, and in Port Macquarie between the Oxley Highway and Hastings River Drive. 

a train on a track with smoke coming out of a house: An Aircrane water bombing helicopter drops water on a bushfires in Harrington, 335km north east of Sydney, on Friday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited An Aircrane water bombing helicopter drops water on a bushfires in Harrington, 335km north east of Sydney, on Friday 'It (the Hillville fire) moving toward the coast at a fairly rapid rate,' Mr West said.

'The area that I live in hasn't been burned in about 30 years. There's a huge amount of fuel load.'

A mayor on the state's mid-north coast said the bushfires ripping through the region were 'horrifying and horrendous beasts' (pictured aerial video of a bushfire at Harrington near Port Macquarie) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A mayor on the state's mid-north coast said the bushfires ripping through the region were 'horrifying and horrendous beasts' (pictured aerial video of a bushfire at Harrington near Port Macquarie) A number of schools have been closed in the area due to the bushfires.

MidCoast Council deputy mayor Claire Pontin - who lives in nearby Hallidays Point - says the area is 'tinder dry'.

'It's just crispy. In places, you can hear the leaves crunching under your feet.'  

smoke coming from it: A still image from an aerial video showed bushfires engulfing the highway north of Tuncurry, near the town of Forster © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A still image from an aerial video showed bushfires engulfing the highway north of Tuncurry, near the town of Forster

Earlier, a man, aged in his 50s, suffered serious burns to his legs and hands while trying to defend his rural property in Yarrowitch, east of Walcha, on Thursday. 

a steam engine train with smoke coming out of it: Out of control flames were snapped from a nearby residential area in Harrington © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Out of control flames were snapped from a nearby residential area in Harrington Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Rose Barr says there should be a brief reprieve in fire weather conditions as temperatures cool over the weekend.

'(But) from Monday conditions will warm up again and temperatures will heat up significantly,' she told AAP.

Rising temperatures are forecast to bring elevated fire dangers across much of NSW by Tuesday.

an aerial view of a city: Dust was expected to be blown across much of the state's northeast on Friday with the Central Coast and Newcastle areas the worst affected (fire at Harrington pictured) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Dust was expected to be blown across much of the state's northeast on Friday with the Central Coast and Newcastle areas the worst affected (fire at Harrington pictured) Read more
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