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(generated from captions) most of the State but we will start to see a more northerly wind developing. That's in association with a high sitting out through New Zealand and an moving into
approaching trough that's moving into SA. Now these northerly winds to be that strong on Saturday, We
relatively light in most areas. We will see a sea breeze developing along the coastal that
fringe as well. It's on Sunday that there's a slight increase in those wind strengths and again it's north, northwesterlies to begin with northeasterly
and then we will see a fairly northeasterly sea breeze developing along the coast. That will cap the coastal temperatures but it will remain quite warm through the inland areas. Now this mass of cloud is in association with a NSW during
trough. It's expected to cross NSW during Tuesday at this stage, so that means on and also on Tuesday we're still looking at very warm temperatures across most of the State. And that's going to lead to the increasing fire dangers we've
across many areas. Now tomorrow dangers
we've got increasing fire of
dangers through western parts of Queensland, also northern SA with warm temperatures across many parts of the continent. The top stories we're following on ABC News. Emergency crews are continuing to watch the weather as the NSW bushfire crisis slowly begins to ease. The last of the emergency warnings was cancelled late this afternoon but fires continue to burn around the State. Fire fighters have been desperately battling blazes after milder conditions today allowed them to get on the front foot. Crews fear the return of hot conditions on Sunday. We'll see some of the fires reignite.Officially the death toll stands at 1 with a residents
number of fire fighters and residents also injured. A 63-year-old man has died at Lake Munmorah on the Central Coast. He was trying to protect his home. Additional fire fighters are coming from Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.More than 80 properties have been officially
listed as destroyed but authorities say the true number is likely to reach the hundreds. Today some whose houses were in the fire's path managed to return home and assess the damage.And in other news Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced his front Plibersek in
bench naming his Deputy Tanya Plibersek in the foreign affairs portfolio. Chris has been named Shadow Treasurer with Andrew Leigh assistant Treasurer and Tony Burke the Shadow Finance Minister. Penny Wong has moved to Trade and Investment. Stephen Conroy to Defence and Jason Claire been appointed Shadow Communications Minister. Richard Marles will take on the key im Immigration portfolio and Mark Butler, Environment and Climate Change.Well Major
joining me now in the studio is Major Geoff Winterburn from the Salvation Army. Many thanks coming in. We understand that since the fires started the Salvation Army's been working to
very closely with communities to provide relief services. But tell me, when a disaster like this happens how do you how
to pick up the pieces? Well how do you, that's a good question? And for many it will be a long journey to those pieces and the Salvation as
Army will be there for as long as it takes supporting those in
people who have lost everything earlier
in these tragic fires.We saw earlier we heard from a schoolteacher who had come home and he said virtually all he had was the backpack on his back when he had come home camp. He said he was still in shock. I mean what do people like him need first, is it more clothes for their back? Is it food? What kind of support is things.
it? They need all those things. They need physical assistance, clothing, food, someone to talk to is very important because this type of those
thing will have an affect on come.
those people for many years to come. It may bring up past experiences, people who have been affected and so they need to know that there's someone to talk to and the Salvation Army is that counseling service as well as physical assistance to these people.What about you? You've been with the Salvation Army for some time. Does this also bring back memories of previous disasters? Look, certainly it does. 20 years ago I was called was -
to a house fire where a lady was - she perished in that fire and the policeman who called me said we have to go and tell her husband and so we went to that workplace and walked in to the office and you can imagine what he thought when he saw me in uniform and a policeman and I said to him we've got some very perished
bad to news, your wife had perished in a fire. And he actually laughed and me and then he realised that we weren't joking, it was a serious thing. And then he just fell into my arms so I hugged him. And so that brought that, like it happened yesterday, and look, I would say firemen who are fighting the fires as well, the Salvation Army people who are talking to people who have been affected, would be
have lost everything, they would be having memories of past experiences where they've lost
been alongside people who have lost everything. And just - just go back and think it's like it happened yesterday and so it's most important that people talk to someone and I heard today when our Salvation Army people just said just hug someone and just to hug them and let them cry. What can you can
say in a disaster like this. We The
can just offer that support. The Salvo care line, the 24-hour care line that we have is there waiting to receive sitting
calls.Jeff, a lot of people sitting and watching this unfold are full of good will. What can they do in terms - is there something specific apart from giving money or time? In to the
times of disasters going back to the Queensland floods, you know, it's amazing that the support that the community affected
give, even those that have been affected they just rally around together and they support each other. Corporates are very generous at giving their support, Woolworths have come donations,
onboard, point of sale donations, Westpac are supporting us and the general of donationses that
public, it's amazing the amount of donationses that have come in to our bushfire appeal and we're still asking for people to donate money. That's the best thing for us and they can do that on wanting
Monday. Certainly people wanting to volunteer their time and we're receiving calls all the time, what can we do to help, where can we go to help people. Our SAS people, there
emergency service teams are out there feeding the people, talking to people.Jeff Winterburn from the Salvos, thanks for coming in tonight.Thank you.The PM Tony Abbott visited Winmalee today and expressed his sympathy for all those affected by the fires.On behalf of the people in the parliament of Australia how much we feel for everyone right around the State of NSW, but particularly here in and around Winmalee, how much we feel for everyone who has suffered through these devastating fires. Today is a much quieter day than but this is a fire emergency which could go on for quite some time. There are hundreds of people who are grieving loss of property, tragically there has been, it seems, one life lost further north someone who was defending his house. We grieve for everyone impacted by these fires and we thank and congratulate everyone who is NSW
working to keep the State of NSW safe right now. We've had hundreds of police, we've had hundreds of NSW fire brigade workers and we've had literally thousands of rural fire volunteers and State Emergency Services volunteers out over the last 24 hours.That was the PM Tony Abbott. Well fire crews from Victoria have been sent to fighting
NSW to help with the fire fighting effort. 130 fire fighters from the CFA and MFB as well as 20 fire trucks are headed for the Blue Mountains. crew who
They include ground support damage.And
crew who will assess the fire damage.And also we've got incident management teams that will support the management of the fires over the next number of days. So it's a number of different types of resources and that's exactly what asked for and we were able to we've had
provide it.And Black Saturday we've had fire fighters from SA and NSW and others that have come to assist us. So this is our way of being able to show our support for NSW.The crews are expected to work through they
the weekend until Tuesday but they will stay longer required.The ABC's Gordon Taylor joins us now on the Blue
phone from Lithgow, west of the Blue Mountains. Good evening to you, Gordon. We understand the bushfire near you has caused people some major concerns today? Yes, that's right. Well there's actually two fires in this western area of the Blue Mountains. There's the biggest fire in the State and that's what's called the State Mine fire. That's just started just at Lithgow and has burnt east woods in a very, very long very, very
tongue and it burned yesterday very, very fast. It was the fastest fires burning. That's burnt all the way to about 4 kilometres from a place called Bilpin where they grow apples. That fire is huge. Well incident
at last time I heard from the incident controller it was 25,000 hectares. They're expecting it to be at least 50,000 hectares but they're thinking even more hundred thousand hectares or more. The trouble with this fire is the northern boundary now, because it's such a long thin fire, the northern boundary is very long, that faces north to the Wollemi wilderness area. There's kilometres
nothing between there and 50 kilometres up to the Hunter Valley. So if the fire gets into there it could take weeks, they say even months to fully extinguish it. So that's one concern. Today though the other
was heading south along the other long border. They're trying to manage that and contain that. The trouble is the next fire down is a smaller fire at Mount Victoria. Now, they don't want those two fires to join up because then you'd have an even bigger fire. The trouble with the Mount Victoria fire is of course that's where many of the homes destroyed. I've been out there today one of the main side roads there at Mount Victoria, St Georges Parade, at least - well at least 10 homes just - well 8 homes at least on that small
road alone and it's a very small road. So a lot of devastation there. While we were there the fire picked up in the afternoon and actually jumped the Great Western Highway. So for a while there blocked.
the Great Western Highway was blocked. It means the fire got over into the southern side of the Blue Mountains there and that's of real concern to fire fighters. They don't want the then
fire getting into there and then taking off south wards. So quite a few very concerned about and just don't want this fire. It's very, very rugged country. They don't want this fire taking off into those wilderness areas and being unable to be managed for a very long time.That was actually going to be my next question. I mean you're talking about huge tracks of land, 25,000, 50,000 hectares. Is reason why fire fighters haven't been able to most of that fire, is it because it's quite It's
inhospitalable? Absolutely. It's very inhospitalable, very mountainous, a lot of - in many areas cliffs and in fact the fire, the Mount Victoria fire today it jumped down very, very steep cliffs, the sort of cliffs that rock climbers climb, that sort of cliff. We're talking very big, you know, the sort of cliffs that you're used to seeing in post cards of the Blue Mountains. That's the sort of cliffy country that some of this fire very
is in. Other parts are just very rough and mountainous and bushy and very hard to get to. The other thing is that northern boundary of the biggest fire there, there's very big pine plantations up there too at one end of it, that would also be a very big concern if the fires got into many problems
those pine plantations. Many, many problems there in terms of containing that fire in very the
rough country and yes, in fact the incident controller at Lithgow last night told me that this big fire, he could even imagine it being more than 100,000 hectares if it wasn't able to be controlled.That's incredible. Gordon, as we go fire fighters
into the weekend we know that fire fighters across the State
have been working really hard for a couple of days at least now. Have you hat time to speak to them about how they're coping personally under these difficult conditions? Well of situation like
course like any sort of situation like this, everybody helps, everybody's very stoic and there's a real camaraderie, fire grounds
you know, we go to any of the fire grounds and immediately we greet people, they greet us, there really is a sense community spirit out there from everyone concerned. I went to the evacuation centre last Workers
night at Lithgow near Lithgow Workers Club and there was Red Cross there, there was the Seventh Day Adventist Church, there was the Anglicare, all these different organisations all pitching in, the Salvos, all pitching in helping, finding accommodation for people, finding places to put brought their pets out
people's pets. Many people have they've
brought their pets out when they've been evacuated. Where do you put pets, you know? People have offered accommodation for pets. This sort of thing. So incredible sense of camaraderie and community spirit, I'd have to say. I've seen no examples of anger, no examples of blow ups with people, everybody just getting on with it, understanding that everybody else is going through the sort of thing. So that's been incredibly impressive, I think. I'm sure that's been seen can
all the other fire grounds. I I'm sure
can only speak for this one but I'm sure that's been seen in all the others.OK, alright, reporter Gordon Taylor out there in Lithgow, many thanks.Thanks.And the fire emergency closed more than 10 schools but it didn't stop the HSC with students relocated to continue their exams. The insurance damage bill from the bushfire crisis stands at $30 million and climbing. It could end up 4 times that amount as the claims roll in.Residents return to ruins and count the cost.Just despair. What can you do? It's just stuff. It's just the photos.550 insurance claims have so far been lodged. That's $30 million in losses.We expect this will rise quite sharply over the coming days and weeks as many claims are lodged with insurance companies.The final figure could be close to $120 million. Banks are keeping their doors open promising relief measures for fire-affected customers. Yesterday was a particularly difficult day for you.The PM has pitched in with $1,000 for
assistance for adults and $400 onboard
for children. The Premier is onboard coordinating emergency today the
funds.We've also announced today the a pointment emergency coordinators and for the Blue Mountains it will be the former RFS commissioner Phil Koperberg.Char church groups are also helping when things seem hopeless.You just give them a hug, yeah, that's all lots of people need.The bushfires closed more than 10 schools but they didn't stop the HSC. Students were relocated to continue their exams. The board of studies says those unable to get there can lodge an appeal so they're not disadvantaged. We have a number of students, 3 in fact, that have actually lost their houses that are HSC students so we will be filling an illness and mist adventure form for them. Fire crews are working to protect water catchments with silt and ash a potential threat to clean drinking water. The Greens leader has linked the devastating bushfires with climate change.What we do know is global warming has given the hottest winters around Australia.And the conditions that contribute to bushfires appear to be getting worse, while an increase in fire danger weather is triggering a longer fire season.The only thing we can control is the fuel load and so that brings you back in your circle to the as Ard reduction burning question.A new kind of normal in an already scorched State. dominated
And the fire situation has dominated sornl media all day and in fact all yesterday as well with users uploading pictures and videos and all day responses.
we've been asking to see your responses. And it's been a pretty incredible response at that. And Nick Dole is back here now to bring us some of those photos and content
videos.There's a lot of content on the Internet because initially, I mean this was some of the best footage we could get because when the fire fronts first broke out it was difficult to get resources in. So let's show you some of the video firstly. This is some fire footage taken from the corner of the Pacific at Lake Munmorah last night. At one stage the Pacific Highway section
had to be closed from the section through Swansea but the road has now opened again and the RFS now tells us that the threat has reduced to properties in around Chain Valley Bay, Gwandalan, Sutherland Point, those sort of areas due to some successful backburning that's taken place today.This video Bash
of a very red sky was taken by Bash Prompt. This is the fire how
in Springwood and you can see how thick that smoke is.Obviously it's not that intense now fortunately but the sad news is that we do know already 81 homes have been destroyed with 37 damaged and that is only about 30% of the fire ground having been assessed. So we are expecting that number to rise. Some amazing stories are coming from some of these fire-affected areas. These shots are from Winmalee resident Nathan Chapman. His house was saved but his street lost nine homes. neighbours
Nathan helped three other neighbours save their homes. the
Now as soon as he heard about the Springwood fire he rushed home and he did manage to get through some of the that were set up. But he says 9 homes were gone before the fire fighters managed to get there. up there
They were obviously very busy up there at Winmalee. So apparently all of the neighbours helped out going from house to house to try to save as many homes as they could. Obviously they couldn't do it all but if there is any silver lining from all of this banded
it is that the communities banded together so well.Indeed, Nick Dole many thanks.And many people as the
gathered in community centres as the situation developed last night one area that was under and Americancy warning for much of the evening was Muswellbrook. More than 2,000 hectares were on fire at hunger ford Creek, fire that's still burning out of control and that is now 10,000 hectares in size. In nearby Denman a memorial hall was set up as evacuation centre and one of the people who was helping out was Janette Travis who is the president of the district and development association. How worried were people in the area last night? They were very concerned. They were worried, you know, that friends and family might have been affected but fortunately they weren't. You know, the fires were very bad but there was no homes believe
lost, no lives lost.And I believe are you going to show us or we're going to show the this
pictures but we've got one of this one sent in by, I think your friend, can you describe clouds
it to us? There's billowing that?
clouds and green and where was that? That was at Martin Dale itself. Martin Dale is outside of Denman and it's all farming land. So, you know, you've got distances between each farm and that's where it was, it was in the back.And what's the situation there now? As far as I know it's calmed down. There's still embers burning but most of the fieries have been pulled back and new have gone in just to be there for - in case any flare ups.And did many people need to use the services provided by the volunteers? No, no, no, which was very fortunate. A lot of people chose to stay on couple
their properties. We had wurn couple who evacuated and they came and vegster ed with the community family services. So that people could find them if extremely
they needed to. It's an extremely charming memorial hall, I must say. What was the very
atmosphere like there? It was community
very jolly, actually. The community just rallied around. They came and brought food, drinks, nibblies, staff offered their homes for accommodation if anybody needed it. You know, Denman is very well known for its community spirit so we were very fortunate.What were the had,
kinds of worries that people had, particularly last night? I think that it was going to get close to their homes. I think that was the biggest, ready
biggest worry. Everybody was ready to evacuate from what I hear, you know, people had their precious things packed to
away ready to move if they had to but they were very fortunate. They didn't have to.Well, Janette Travers we really appreciate you coming on photos
this evening and sharing those photos and some uplifting news for us. Thank you so much.Thank you.To other news now, and an ABC News crew found a body floating in the Mekong River while covering the aftermath Wednesday's plane crash in Laos. The Lao so
Government said 17 bodies have so far been recovered from the crash and local authorities say there are Australians them. Two Australian experts in the
victimisification will fly to the region to help authorities deal with the disaster. Zoe Daniel reports from Pakse in southern Laos. It's a joint recovery effort but it's going to be a long haul. They're yet to pinpoint the exact location of the plane and there was little action today as they could
discussed how to find it. It could be anything from 10 to 50 metres below the fast-flowing surface. Special equipment is being brought in to help. It's a place of beauty now, in bright sunshine. But extreme bad wetter caused by the tail end of a typhoon has been blamed for the crash of the turboprop which hit the ground and flipped into the river. According to this cloud
eyewitness there was very low cloud and light rain at the time but little wind. TRANSLATION: It was like this flame
and then it fell and there was flame and fire and boom, it exploded.Villagers and fishermen have been involved in the search for bodies. This morning the Lao Government said 17 have been found. We found and reported it
the 18th, floating in the river and reported it to authorities. Tie divers have shown us pictures of the body of a young boy that they recovered yesterday. There were only two children on the plane, a 17-month-old boy and his 3-year-old sister, both were Department of
Australian.Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs says it can't confirm whether the bodies of Australians have been found until formal identification is complete.As the search for the dead continues, Lao people are beginning to theirs.Government employees
in the US are finally back at work after the 11th hour deal in Congress to end the shut down and extend the country's borrowing limit. The damage from the shut down is estimated in revenue
to with upwards of $20 billion in revenue and productivity correspondent
losses. And as North America correspondent Ben reports, the politicians who presided over the crisis have also suffered political damage. monument.After
Other side of the Washington monument.After 16 days of shut down , the sun came out in Washington.And the barricades were removed.Just hours the President signed a late-night bill to reopen the government, federal workers were back on the job.So I just, you know, rolled my hair up and went to bed and got ready to get up and come to work. White House workers were welcomed back by the chief of staff.Welcome back everybody.Vice-President Joe Biden welcomed his workers with cup cape cakes and hugs. Barack Obama was striking a different tone.These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our particular
economy. You don't like a particular policy then argue for your position. Go out and win an election.It's estimated that this shut has cost the American economy more than $20 billion. But the Republicans in Congress who instigated it are paying a heavy price as well. They've got nothing out of this deal apart from awful polls and a bitter internal party fight.We're not going to go through a shut down again traumatised by
because people have been too traumatised by it, there's too much damage, we tried this back in 1995, had the same result.Even if some of those behind it are claiming it as a win.We saw the House of Representatives take a courageous stand listening to the American people.But other Republicans are already sitting down with Democrats trying to hammer out a deal that will stop all this from happening again in 3 months time.And just recapping on the top story now. It's been confirmed that 81 properties in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney have been destroyed in the NSW bushfire crisis. It's also claimed the life of a Central Coast resident. The final toll of property losses is expected to be much higher.I'm Jane Hutcheon. I'll be back in a moment with continuing coverage of the NSW fires emergency. You are watching ABC News 24.

This program is not captioned.

This Program Is Captioned Live. Tonight, there's no end in sight for the NSW bushfire emergency with crews working around the clock. Could have been anyone's house. That just makes you feel like it could us.
have been you, could have been gone.
us. It's just everything's gone. Everything.As many as 200 homes lost and one man confirmed dead in the worst fires for a Prime Minister surveys devastated areas efforts of firefighters. And many fires are still burning focus shifting
with dozens out of control with focus shifting to the Central Coast of the State. Live Australia, you're watching ABC