More than 60 bushfires are burning in the state of New South Wales in Australia

 edition.cnn.com  11/10/2019 20:33:38 

At that time, preliminary reports suggested more than 100 homes had been lost, Fitzsimmons said.

Residents are advised to avoid areas that might be prone to fires, or identify safe locations if they're unable to leave.

A total fire ban was instituted statewide and will stretch into Monday and Tuesday, the fire service said.

Hundreds of koalas feared dead

Financial support will be made available to people who were injured or whose homes have been lost or severely damaged, according to the Department of Home Affairs. Cash payment would include 1,000 Australian dollars ($685) for eligible adults and 400 Australian dollars ($273) for eligible children, it said.

Bushfires in New South Wales are seen from space in this satellite imagery provided by NASA.
But NSW residents haven't been the only ones impacted. According to Sue Ashton, president of the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie, an estimated 350 koalas are feared dead in the bushfires.
"Where we thought we had koalas, we now think they've been incinerated," Sue Ashton, president of the koala hospital, told CNN affiliate Nine News Australia on Friday. "The fire is so intense that what's happening is the fire goes through and the little koalas and other wildlife are just burned to pieces and become ash. So it's absolutely horrific."

The hospital is treating at least 12 koalas, five of whom have serious injuries, Ashton said.

An estimated 500 to 600 koalas live on the Lake Innes Nature Reserve in New South Wales, Ashton said, and two-thirds of the habitat has already burned.

The koala population of New South Wales dropped below 20,000 because of excessive tree-clearing, the World Wildlife Fund said in March. Koalas in the area are on track to be extinct as soon as early 2050, it said.

CNN's Carly Walsh, Helen Regan and Amanda Jackson contributed to this report.

« Go back