Parts of NSW face 'catastrophic' fire risk

Australian firefighters warned they were in

Two confirmed dead in Glen Innes bushfires

Bushfires are common in Australia but the country has experienced a dramatic start to what scientists predict will be a tough fire season - with climate change and weather cycles contributing to the risky combination of strong winds, high temperatures and dry conditions.

Firefighters are desperately trying to control devastating bushfires across New South Wales before a "dangerous day" of weather forecast for Tuesday.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance have been activated to provide financial assistance, payment that provide $1000 for adults and $400 for children that have lost their homes.

The home belongs to a woman aged 63, but police have said they require a post-mortem examination to confirm the person's identity and cause of death.

How many fires are blazing?

"I would call on all our employers, particularly our volunteers whether they're in the Rural Fire Service, the emergency services or indeed our retained firefighters that rely on the generosity of their employers to give them time away from work", he said.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes along a 310-mile swathe of the eastern seaboard from the Queensland state border south to Forster.

Education authorities said more than 40 schools in New South Wales would be shut on Monday due to the fires.

"The forecast for the balance of the season continues to be driven by above-normal temperatures (and) below-average rainfall to dominate over the coming months", Fitzsimmons said.

It is the first time Sydney has been warned of a "catastrophic" fire danger, the highest possible level, since the grading system was introduced in 2009.

The blazes are spread across about 1,000 km (621 miles) of Australia's coast, stretching the emergency response.

Now 14km long and 6km wide, it was bearing down on Adelaide Park at 10am on Sunday with residents told it was too late to leave.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited devastated bushfire communities on Sunday, telling reporters people were in a "traumatised" state.

Wytaliba residents Vivian Chaplain, 69, and George Nole were also named as victims, with people taking to social media to pay tribute to each of them.

Further north in Queensland, more than 50 fires raged, according to the Reuters news agency.

Firefighters hold back a fire threatening a house at Tinonee near Taree. In some cases authorities have drilled bores to keep up with demand.

"It is a sobering reminder of what's around the corner", he said.

The poor air quality prompted health warnings for those with asthma and other respiratory problems.

Mr Morrison was heckled during the briefing by a climate change protester.

The Australian wildfire season started early this year after an unusually warm and dry winter. Parts of the country are facing the worst drought in living memory. "We have never had this many fires at emergency level", RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

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