New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told local media that nearly 1,200 firefighters and 70 aircraft had been deployed "to save as many people as possible", with around 92,000 people affected by the fires.
"We've got 90 fires burning across New South Wales".
Emergency services said they had found the remains of one person in a vehicle and another woman died despite medics struggling for several hours to save her. That's about 350 of these beloved animals, which are facing increased threat due to loss of habitat and climate change.
MidCoast Council deputy mayor Claire Pontin - who lives in nearby Hallidays Point - said on Friday the area was "tinder dry".
"Australia has been battling ferocious fires for as long as Australia has been a nation, and well before".
The skies of New South Wales are glowing an eerie orange after reignited wildfires swept through parts of the state, killing two people, leveling scores of homes and destroying much of the local koala habitat. Some residents in Jacobs Spur near the town of Kempsey have been told it is too late to evacuate so they should take shelter immediately.
During an El Niño, the weather grows hot and dry, making bush more susceptible to catching fire.
"So firefighters were torn between trying to send help to one fire or another".
Authorities said some of the fires were creating their own weather conditions - pyrocumulus clouds that enveloped entire towns. But a prolonged drought and low humidity levels will continue to make circumstances combustible.
Earlier this month, some of the same fires cloaked Sydney in hazardous smoke for days.
The Thornton blaze in the Lockyer Valley region split into two separate fires travelling in different directions.
Swathes of Australia have gone months without adequate rainfall, forcing farmers to truck in water at exorbitant cost, sell off livestock or leave their land to lay fallow.
Jim McLennan of La Trobe University said the bushfires were "unprecedented", coming so early in the season and in areas that usually have moist soils and vegetation.
A Guardian analysis on fire patterns over the last 44 years found a connection among weather events, such as El Niño, climate change, and the country's fire season.