Grandmother Died In Bushfire As She Tried To Protect Her Home
The first victim of the unprecedented bushfires ravaging northern NSW has been named as 69-year-old Vivian Chaplain, a "strong woman" who died protecting her home.
As of Saturday evening, at least three people have died in the state's bushfire emergency that has destroyed at least 150 homes.
One body was found in a burnt-out vehicle near Kangawalla, east of Glen Innes on the mid-north coast. Police were working to formally identify the victim, the NSW Rural Fire Service said on Saturday morning.
Firefighters discovered a woman with severe burns in the same blaze on Friday. She was transferred to hospital where she later died, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzimmons said.
Later on Saturday, the ABC named the woman as Vivian Chaplain, 69.
Vivian Chaplain, 69, is one of the victims who have died in the state's bushfire emergency. Image: Supplied via the ABC
A relative told the ABC Chaplain died while trying to protect her home at Wytaliba, north-west of Coffs Harbour.
The victim's daughter-in-law, Chrystal Harwood, said she'll be "greatly missed" by her two children and six grandchildren.
"She was a strong woman who died protecting the home and animals she loved."
"The loss of her has devastated our family there was nothing we could do.
"She was stuck and we couldn't get to her."
A third person was confirmed dead on Saturday night after their body was discovered in a burnt-out home in the town of Johns River some 40 kilometres north of Taree on the mid-north coast.
Fires swept through the area on Saturday afternoon.
As fires continue to rage across the state, one at emergency level at Hillville, south of Taree, five people remain unaccounted for, and there are fears the death toll will rise.