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An Australian firefighter hosing down trees and flying embers in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in New South Wales. Photo: Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Australia's wildfires have claimed another five lives, several people are missing and thousands of people have continued to shelter from fires on beaches at popular tourist spots in two states, authorities say.

The latest: The Australian Defense Force has deployed extra personnel to the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia to assist in firefighting efforts, the government confirmed in a statement. The government said it's also sending aid fire-ravaged regions via military ships and aircraft.

  • The bodies of three more people were found in fires on New South Wales' South Coast, the NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner told a news conference Wednesday afternoon local time.
  • A man's body was found inside a burnt-out car off a major highway on the South Coast, state police said hours earlier before that announcement.
  • In Victoria, a 67-year-old man was found dead in his East Gippsland home, the Herald Sun reports.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Evacuations: People in Batemans Bay, NSW, have evacuated to the beach to escape bushfires, per 9 News. The town of nearly 16,000 people on the state's south coast attracts some 2 million visitors a year.

  • 4,000 people fled to the beach at the East Gippsland town of Mallacoota in Victoria after evacuating there, fire authorities say.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The victims: The death toll from the wildfires now stands at 17 following several days of intense conditions amid searing heat in Australia's southeast.

The big picture: The Australian Defense Force has been assisting with firefighting efforts in the states of New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia since Nov. 8, the government says.

  • Australia's wildfires are so intense, smoke from the blazes has traveled over 1,200 miles to blanket parts of New Zealand's South Island.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

Driving the news: The Biden administration has faced rising inflation rates over recent months, which it has labeled as "transitory."

2 hours ago - World

Soldiers seize power in Burkina Faso as global coup surge continues

Mutinous soldiers in Burkina Faso declared on state television Monday that they had deposed the government, closed the borders, and taken control of the country. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has reportedly been arrested.

The big picture: This would be the third successful military coup in west Africa in eight months, after juntas took power last year in Guinea and in neighboring Mali.

3 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.