Death toll in Australia bushfires rises to four

Cars and a house lay burnt out after bushfires impacted on houses and farmland near the small town of Glenreagh, some 600kms north of Sydney, on November 13, 2019. – Bushfires raging across eastern Australia singed Sydney’s suburbs, with firefighters scrambling planes and helicopters to douse a built-up neighborhood with water and red retardant. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST / AFP)

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — The death toll from devastating bushfires in eastern Australia has risen to four after a man’s body was discovered in a scorched area of bushland, police said Thursday.

Residents found the body outside the New South Wales town of Kempsey, one of several areas hit by bushfires in recent days.

Police said formal identification was yet to take place but it was believed to be the body of a 58-year-old man who lived in a shed. He was last seen on Friday.

Three others have perished in bushfires in New South Wales, the state worst affected by fires that broke out along the eastern seaboard late last week.

Hundreds of houses have been damaged or destroyed and more than one million hectares (2.5 million acres) of land burnt in the blazes.

Tough conditions were expected to flare again in Queensland and New South Wales at the weekend as the temperature rises and winds pick up.

More than 100 blazes were burning on Thursday but a respite from “catastrophic” conditions has seen the danger from many fires downgraded and residents returning to sift through the remains of their homes.

© Agence France-Presse