Residents across swathes of southeast Australia have sweltered through a high-danger day waiting for bushfire to pounce amid confirmation of more death and destruction.
Father and son Dick and Clayton Lang are the latest victims, dying in terrifying wildfires which swept across South Australia's Kangaroo Island.
The 78-year-old outback pilot and his Adelaide-based surgeon son, 43, became trapped by a blaze they had been fighting near their family property.
Their deaths take Australia's current bushfire season toll to 22, with many more people missing late on Saturday.
Temperatures neared 50C in western Sydney as parts of the NSW south coast and eastern Victoria remained on standby, subject to emergency alerts and evacuation orders.
"We are in for a long night," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said late in the day. She warned that a drop in temperature did not mean a reduction in the threat posed by the 150 fires burning in the state.
"We are still yet to hit the worst of it."
It could be midnight before the greatest threat sweeps parts of the coast fuelled by southerly winds expected to reach up to 80km/h.
In Victoria, 73 new fires started on Saturday when authorities confirmed 110 property had been lost and 220 "outbuildings" razed.
Six people are missing in Victoria, down from 28 reported on Friday.
Adding to pressures in NSW, bushfires impacted the state's electricity supplies.
People were asked to shut down pool pumps, washing machines and dishwashers and set air conditioners to 25C by Energy Minister Matt Kean who confirmed the troubles.
But Saturday's news wasn't all grim, as the first batch of evacuees from fire-ravaged Mallacoota on coastal Victoria, were delivered to safety by HMAS Choules.
The naval vessel carried about 1200 people who have spent days waiting for an escape from the blaze which cut roads and forced them to seek safety on the beaches.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government would deploy up to 3000 Australian Defence Force reservists and spend $20 million to lease four extra aerial firefighting craft.
Two of those would reach Australia in seven days, with the other two in 14 days.
He faced criticism for the government's failure to act sooner to bolster the nation's firefighting capabilities.
While there had been one-off cash payments, there had been no locked-in budget for an aerial fleet, NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.
"We need to ensure that we have a locked-in budget so we can secure more long-term arrangements around funding and leasing," he told reporters in Sydney.
Mr Morrison said separate funding boosts would be enough to make up for the business case as he committed the Navy's largest ship, HMAS Adelaide, to help evacuation efforts.
In Tasmania police charged a 35-year-old man with lighting a bushfire in the state's northeast where a string of blazes have destroyed a home and burned more than 11,000 hectares.
In Western Australia an uncontrolled bushfire burning since December 20 continues to block the road link to South Australia.
The ACT is shrouded in smoke from interstate bushfires.