Woman, 69, dies after being found burned by bushfire
Firefighters have confirmed two people have died in NSW, and five are unaccounted for, as the state battles an unprecedented bushfire crisis.
Vivian Chaplain, 69, died in hospital after trying to save her home and animals from the blaze in Wytaliba, north west of Coffs Harbour, on the NSW north coast.
She was reportedly a grandmother of six.
LIVE COVERAGE: NSW, Queensland in the grips of an unfolding fire crisis
"They came in to the area and found someone badly burnt. The reports were initially of 40 to 50 per cent burns to her body," NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.
"She was unconscious, and the crews were rendering first aid and CPR for several hours. I understand prior to the arrival and intervention of medical specialists, despite the very best efforts of all involved, we are advised this morning that lady has passed away."
The remains of another victim were found in a vehicle at the Kangawalla fire, near Glen Innes.
At least 35 people are injured; 19 firefighters and 16 to members of the public.
"We have everything from minor injuries; smoke inhalation, minor burns, through to serious injuries, serious burns," Fitzsimmons said.
"I spoke to the loved one of one of our firefighters late last night who is currently in hospital with a severe laceration to an arm for example. They are waiting to be assessed by a surgeon this morning to determine what hospital they are going to go to and what treatment."
Those affected by the fires, or have loved ones who are, are urged to make their whereabouts known to the Red Cross, as seven people remain unaccounted for.
"We are encouraging everybody to access the registration site with the Red Cross. Hopefully it is a matter of identification and location."
A number of fires have combined overnight to form one major blaze, Fitzsimmons said.
"Three and four fires are now one. The numbers are changing a lot today. It's a widespread fire ground area, and the reports that we have got in are preliminary reports. They are the early field reports. We have got assessment teams that will be out across as many fire grounds as they can today, taking stock and validating those numbers."
At least 150 properties have been destroyed, including community infrastructure and several schools. That number is expected to climb.
A resident at Wallabi Point near Old Bar on NSW's mid north coast has been filmed filling his gutters with water as a fire closed in.
In Rainbow Flat the RFS base has been destroyed along with half a dozen homes.
Resident and RFS volunteer Dave Cavannagh told Today: "I chose to stay, a lot of people evacuated. It came from the north with a strong north-east. It just came up so fast. There was nothing we could do.
"There is so much material on the ground and we haven't been able to do back-burns for so long because of how dry it is, that was the reason everything went up. So much fuel on the ground.
"Being on acres surrounded by trees and bush everything went up. We had a couple of fire trucks turn up and helped protect the house. We saved the house and sheds. But there are a few minor structures that we lost. We are insured. We will rebuild."