NSW and Queensland fires: two people dead, seven unaccounted for and more than 100 homes destroyed – live

NSW’s Glen Innes the site of confirmed deaths and missing persons, as 77 bushfires still burn across the east-coast states
Full report: At least 100 homes destroyed in NSW and Queensland fires

12.23am GMT

Today, NSW RFS Building Assessment Teams are heading to fire affected areas to assess property damage, while crews work to clear fallen trees & reopen local roads. We’re trying to get people back to their properties as soon as we can, but it may take some time. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/ggEmYmzacB

We’re also hearing from on the ground that new roads are being closed as fires shift direction. Monitor local broadcasters and please… obey the signs

11.55pm GMT

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons reiterated that the forecast for next week – Tuesday in particular – was dire, and that the outlook for the summer beyond was potentially catastrophic. He said the long-running drought in NSW had left the state tinder-dry and dangerously flammable.

Not only is it about next week, but, unfortunately, the forecast for the balance of the season continues to be driven by above-normal temperatures, below-average rainfall, to dominate over the coming months. If you put that across this extremely drought-stricken landscape, where you have no moisture in the ground … a flammability of the fuel which is seeing extraordinary fire behaviour, fire spreading and burning very intensely, very aggressively … with spot fire activity doubling or tripling what would normally be expected in the conditions that we have been experiencing.

The flammability, the lack of moisture in the vegetation, is making it so susceptible to ignition, that many embers are leading well ahead of the main fire front, taking hold, starting fires, and rapidly accelerating the movement of fire across the landscape and into different communities.

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