Australia fires continue to claim lives

Firefighter observes damage caused by bushfires in Queensland

In Australia, bushfires show no signs of relenting and the death toll continues to rise.

Since Monday 30 December, there have been at least eight deaths in south eastern Australia ─ seven in New South Wales and one in Victoria ─ and two more people remain unaccounted for.

In addition, more than 200 homes have been destroyed by the latest fires.

The total number of fatalities caused by the fires this season has now reached 18, while the New South Wales Rural Fire Service said that 916 homes have been destroyed this season.

The New South Wales fire service said that conditions on the south coast of NSW are dangerous and that holidaymakers should leave before Saturday 4 January.