Fraser Island residents told to leave immediately

Firefighters are struggling to control the huge bushfire on Fraser Island, off the east coast of Queensland.

The bushfire was sparked by an illegal campfire in mid-October and has destroyed at least 82,500 hectares of the Unesco World Heritage site.

A heatwave in south-east Australia has exacerbated bushfire conditions.

The Fraser Island fires are among the most serious since the end of last summer. Australia's 2019-20 bushfire season was its most intense on record, though not its most deadly.

Record Australian heat brings fire to a scorched land

The continent is prone to deadly blazes thanks to its combination of remote terrain, high summer temperatures and flammable eucalyptus bush.

A severe four-day heatwave has brought fire weather across the southern parts of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania over the weekend.

The south-eastern state of Victoria was the worst hit, with more than 2,000 firefighters, water-bombing aircraft and volunteers battling blazes on Sunday.

A cool change was forecast for late on Sunday but an associated wind change would bring danger for firefighters.

'Most dangerous day of fire conditions in NSW history'

One small township in central New South Wales was all but destroyed by fire.

Residents in Uarbury said nine of the dozen or so homes in the town were burnt to the ground when the Sir Ivan fire near Dunedoo bore down on them yesterday.

A southerly change in the evening cooled temperatures and saw five emergency warnings downgraded to "watch and act", after a day of extreme heat and over 100 fires around the state.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) downgraded the last blaze at Kains Flat about midnight.

More homes lost to Australian bushfire

At Wye River, 98 homes were destroyed, while 18 were lost at Separation Creek. Fire officials said the majority of the properties lost were holiday homes.

The Insurance Council of Australia estimates the losses to be worth $AU38 million and it is expected that number will increase as claims are made.