More than 250 homes have been lost to bushfires across the Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) over the past week, authorities confirmed on Friday, with the number expected to rise as displaced residents return to assess the damage.
So far, the total number of fatalities for the current emergency is four people, with the body of a 58-year-old man recovered from burnt-out bushland on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, thousands of homes were saved by the heroic efforts of firefighters who continued to tackle multiple blazes still burning in remote areas across the state.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) confirmed that 259 homes had so far been lost, while over 2,100 properties in the direct path of the fire have been saved.
As of Friday morning, largely volunteer based fire crews battled close to 60 fires, making the most of favourable weather conditions.
"More than 1,300 firefighters have worked overnight on the 59 bush or grass fires currently burning across NSW at 6:00 a.m. local time, with 35 not yet contained," a NSW RFS spokesperson said on social media.
"(NSW RFS) Building Impact Assessment teams have inspected over 3,000 buildings and are still working to get people back to their communities soon," the spokesperson said.
Evacuation centers continued to house hundreds of people displaced by the fires, many of whom would return to find their homes razed to the ground.
Authorities warned the public to remain vigilant as weather conditions were expected to worsen throughout the weekend.
"We still have a number of fires burning at watch and act and emergency warning, so it remains very challenging," the spokesperson said.