DEATH TOLL: What we know so far on bushfire crisis
Another person has died in New South Wales as a result of the bushfires, Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed this morning.
At least 21 people - 17 from NSW, two from Victoria and two from South Australia - are now known to have died in one of Australia's most devastating bushfire seasons yet, and there are growing fears the toll could rise with officials in Victoria saying six people were missing in the state.
At least 15 properties were lost yesterday including in the towns of Batlow and Talbingo in the NSW Snowy Mountains, and in Manyana on the south coast.
At least 464 homes have been destroyed on the south coast this year alone.
That had bumped up to total number of buildings caught in the blazes to 2500 since the bushfires began.
Fires continued to burn throughout the night with one jumping over a river in Currowan, near Batemans Bay.
The Rural Fire Service warned "fires were spreading quickly", particularly in southern New South Wales around Bega, Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands close to Sydney.
Things aren't looking much better in Victoria with six people still missing.
More evacuation orders were issued to Victorians overnight as massive blazes continued to ravage the state's east. Dozens of fires were burning in Victoria early this morning which were subject to emergency warnings, the highest alert level.
WHERE ARE THE VICTORIA BUSHFIRES?
A total of 39 fires are raging across the state with the worst burning predominantly in East Gippsland, the northeast and the alpine region. Residents of those areas have been told they should leave.
An evacuation alert was issued for Biggara, Tintaldra, Towong, Towong Upper, Walwa and surrounding communities on Friday morning.
One of the 39 fires still going across Victoria, the Corryong fire, has burnt approximately 140,000 hectares.
HOW MANY HAVE DIED?
Two people have died but the toll could rise with officials in Victoria saying six people were missing in the state.
The body of 67-year-old great-grandfather and town "larrikin" Mick Roberts was identified as the first victim of the East Gippsland's bushfire tragedy.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on January 3 confirmed a second person had died but told reporters he was "still not in a position" to provide any further information about that victim.
HOW MANY BUILDINGS LOST
Around 110 properties and 220 outbuildings have been consumed by fires just this week. Almost 1 million hectares have been burned through.
STATE OF DISASTER DECLARED
A state of disaster has been declared or the first time in Victoria, as deadly bushfires rage in East Gippsland and the northeast. The declaration gives the government the powers and resources to protect people and compel them to evacuate from at-risk areas.
WHAT AREAS ARE COVERED BY THIS DECLARATION?
East Gippsland Shire, Mansfield Shire, Wellington Shire, Wangaratta Rural Shire, Towong Shire, Alpine Shire, Mount Butler, Mount Hotham and Mount Stirling Alpine Resorts
HELP IS ON THE WAY
Yesterday prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that 3000 Defence Force reservists would assist in the bushfire effort.
HMAS Adelaide has just arrived off the NSW south coast near the town of Eden to assist, which is being threatened by an emergency level bushfire.
WHERE ARE THE NSW BUSHFIRES?
Some 143 fires were burning across NSW as of last night with 3600 firefighters on the ground.
There are currently two emergency warnings in place for out of control fires. One is in Bega Valley and the other is the town of Bundanoon, both of which are in southern NSW.
HOW MANY HAVE DIED?
A man from Batlow, NSW, died last night. The 47-year-old man died of a cardiac arrest on Saturday night while defending a friend's rural property near Batlow, southwest of Canberra.
That brings the total NSW bushfire death toll since July to 17.
VICTIMS THIS WEEK:
• Unnamed 47-year-old man had a heart attack night while defending a friend's rural property near Batlow, southwest of Canberra.
• NSW RFS volunteer firefighter Samuel McPaul, 28, while fighting a fire in Jingellic
• Father and son Robert Salway, 63, and Patrick Salway, 29, found dead in Wandella, west of Cobargo
• Body of 70-year-old man found outside Yatte Yattah home, west of Lake Conjola
• Man's body found in burnt out car on road off the Princes Highway at Yatte Yattah
• Man's body, yet to be formally identified, found in vehicle on Wandra Rd at Sussex Inlet
• Body found outside a home at Coolagolite, east of Cobargo
• Body, believed to be of missing 72-year-old man, found in vehicle on Belowra Rd, west of Cobargo
OTHER VICTIMS THIS BUSHFIRE SEASON:
• NSW RFS volunteer firefighters Geoffrey Keaton, 32, and Andrew O'Dwyer, 26, killed when a fallen tree caused their truck to roll near Buxton in the Southern Highlands (December)
• Barry Parsons, 58, found dead in bushland at Willawarrin, northwest of Kempsey (November)
• Julie Fletcher, 63, found in a burnt out building in Johns River (November)
• The remains of George Nole, 85, were found in a burnt out car near Glen Innes (November)
• Vivian Chaplain, 69, found unconscious with burns in Wytaliba and later died (November)
• Couple Bob Lindsey, 77, and Gwen Hyde, 68, were found dead in their home after the Long Gull fire in Coongbar (October)
HOW MANY HOMES HAVE BEEN LOST?
At least 464 homes have been destroyed on the south coast this year, with another 15 destroyed yesterday. The number will increase as damage assessment teams access hard-to-reach areas. Some 1365 homes, 100 facilities and 2339 outbuildings such as sheds have been confirmed destroyed across NSW since July 2019.