19 Jan 2013

Fire threat eases in Victoria and New South Wales

4:45 pm on 19 January 2013

Fire crews in two Australian states are keeping a close watch on out-of-control bushfires.

The fires turned deadly on Friday night with the death of a man near Seaton in the Gippsland region of Victoria. His body was found in a burnt-out car.

Firefighters believe they will be fighting that blaze for days, if not weeks.

Officials say the number of fires burning across New South Wales has jumped to more than 140 since a band of lightning moved through the state overnight.

But calmer and cooler conditions have eased the fire threat in both states. There are no current emergency alerts and no properties are in immediate danger.

The massive bushfire in eastern Victoria slowed on Friday night after forcing the evacuation of homes in Seaton, Licola and Heyfield on Friday morning. It has now covered 48,000 heactares.