There is no sign of bushfires raging across the Australian state of New South Wales abating as weather conditions worsen, according to reports today.
More than 3,000 firefighters are battling the devastating blazes with more breaking out due to hot, dry winds of up to 60mph and soaring temperatures.
A total of 59 fires are burning across the state, 19 of which are uncontained.
"This will be as bad as it gets," Rural Fire Service chief Shane Fitzsimmons told the BBC, adding there was "real potential for more loss of homes and life".
He added: "On days like today minutes really matter, with the focus again on the Blue Mountains region west of Sydney, a popular tourist area home to 75,000 people where three huge infernos have been burning for days."
More than 296,500 acres of land has been burned across the state and at least 200 homes destroyed.
Hundreds more firefighters have been deployed to the Blue Mountains to work alongside the 1,000 already there, making it one of the largest firefighting contingents ever assembled in the state's history.
Fire crews deliberately joined two large fires yesterday in order to prevent them linking up with a third to create a massive blaze.
The fires have been burning in the Blue Mountains since Thursday, with a state of emergency declared at the weekend.
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