Thousands flee to the sea as fires race to coast:- AUSTRALIA

People have rushed to a beach in Victoria, Australia to escape bushfires racing towards the coast.

Locals in Mallacoota have described a "terrifying experience" of camping on wharves and boarding boats under blood-red skies.

According to the officials, another two people have been killed by fires in New South Wales (NSW) - there are now 12 deaths linked to the fire crisis.

Authorities say four people are missing in Victoria and another in NSW.

The bodies of the latest victims - believed to be a father and son - were found in the town of Corbargo in NSW, which was hit by a massive blaze on Tuesday.

"Very tragic set of circumstances," said NSW police deputy commissioner Gary Worboys. "[They were] obviously trying to do their best with the fire as it came through in the early hours of the morning."

In Mallacoota, the local fire service said a change in wind direction had taken the worst of the fires away from the town.

"I understand there was a public cheer down at the jetty when that was announced," said chief officer Steve Warrington.

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