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More firefighters drafted in to battle Australian blazes

Firefighters have been brought in from Victoria to help the New South Wales Rural Fire Service put in containment lines near the township of Bell in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales.
A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales. Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP/Press Association Images

A state of emergency was declared in New South Wales on Sunday after fires destroyed more than 200 homes.

A homeowner surveys the wreckage left by wildfires that swept through the Blue Mountains suburb of Winmalee, west of Sydney.
A homeowner surveys the wreckage left by wildfires that swept through the Blue Mountains suburb of Winmalee, west of Sydney. Credit: REUTERS/David Gray
Firefighters try to contain bushfires near the township of Bell in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.
Firefighters try to contain bushfires near the township of Bell in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP/Press Association Images

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Firefighters 'water-bomb' Australian wildfires

Firefighters battling wildfires in Australia have taken to 'water-bombing' woodland to halt the blaze, scooping up water from nearby rivers and dropping it on affected areas.

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Their main attention is focused on the widespread fires burning in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, but blazes are also threatening towns in the Southern Highlands, including the small town of Balmoral.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is concerned that continued north-westerly winds may give the fire greater strength and help it breach their containment measures.

There were also warnings of looting in areas affected by fires, but police have warned of strong penalties for anyone caught.

Bushfires in New South Wales rage on

Firefighters battle a bushfire burning close to homes in the Blue Mountains. Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAP/Press Association Images

The worst bushfires in New South Wales for decades are continuing to threaten communities in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

Fifty-eight fires are burning across the state, with more than ten uncontained according to the Rural Fire Service.

A state of emergency was declared in New South Wales on Sunday giving the emergency services the power to order the public to leave their homes or demolish a building.

Australia battling some of worst wildfires in its history

Wildfires sweeping through bushland in southeast Australia are expected to intensify in the coming days after already destroying 200 homes.

High temperatures and high winds look set to combine to make the most dangerous conditions in 40 years, with officials already declaring a state of emergency in New South Wales.

ITV News' Ben Chapman reports:

Fire official: Wildfires travelling almost 20 miles per day

Fire officials in Australia have warned that the wildfires sweeping New South Wales are sometimes covering 30 kilometres (19 miles) in one day.

Joel Kursawe, a spokesman for New South Wales Rural Fire Service, said that he was concerned about future fires as the summer approaches.

Read: State of emergency declared after Australia wildfires

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State of emergency declared after Australia wildfires

Firefighters battle the flames in Australia.
Firefighters battle the flames in Australia. Credit: APTN

The premier of New South Wales state Barry O'Farrell declared a state of emergency.

The fires have killed one man, destroyed a total of 208 homes in New South Wales state and damaged another 122 since Thursday, the Rural Fire Service said.

Firefighters battle the flames in Australia.
Firefighters battle the flames in Australia. Credit: APTN

See more: Temperatures rise in wildfires

A tree engulfed in flames in Australia.
A tree engulfed in flames in Australia. Credit: APTN

Wildfires to have 'significant impact' on populated areas

Authorities are expecting the worst as 68 wildfires continue to burn in Australia - 22 of them out of control - and dangerous weather conditions forecast through Thursday.

"There will be a significant impact on populated areas should all these forecasts materialise as is being suggested," Shane Fitzsimmons, New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner, told reporters.

Higher temperatures expected as wildfires intensify

Firefighters battling some of the most destructive wildfires to ever strike Australia's most populous state were bracing Sunday for worsening conditions, with higher temperatures and winds expected to intensify the danger in the coming days.

In the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, one of the worst-hit regions in fire-ravaged New South Wales state, more than 200 homes have been destroyed.

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