AUSTRALIA - THE amount of land burnt by bushfires across NSW in the past fortnight, that has caused the death of more than 5000 livestock and animals, has already surpassed last years total.
More than 90,000ha has been burnt by bushfires or grass fires across NSW in the past two weeks, compared to 87,810ha in the 2015-16 year, highlighting the severity of this fire season.
A NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman said as of yesterday afternoon 62 fires were burning across the state, with 14 yet to be contained.
The damage bill continues to climb, with 56 homes destroyed by fires across NSW.
Two of the most destructive fires were at Carwoola near Queanbeyan on the Southern Tablelands which destroyed 11 homes and 45 outbuildings at the weekend, and the Sir Ivan fire near Dunedoo in the NSW Central West a fortnight ago, where 35 homes and 131 outbuildings were destroyed.
The Carwoola fire burnt 3133ha and the Sir Ivan fire 55,372ha.
The NSW RFS spokesman said conditions have been more favourable early this week, however temperatures are expected to heat up at the end of the week.
A NSW Department of Primary Industries spokesman said DPI and Local Land Services veterinary officers and biosecurity staff are on the ground assisting primary producers with animal welfare-related issues from the Sir Ivan fire.
The spokesman said about 5056 livestock and animals have been confirmed deceased or destroyed with sheep the highest impacted. An additional 445 livestock and animals are still missing.
The fires have also caused significant damage to farming equipment and infrastructure, dryland agriculture and rangeland grazing enterprises.
At least 138 properties have been partially or totally impacted, with about 5700km of fencing damaged.