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By Adam Todd

YASS, Australia (Network 10/CNN) - Fires continue to threaten Yass and other major towns in New South Wales, Australia.

Firefighters say only good luck, and superhuman efforts saved lives and homes.

Flames are sweeping across farms near Yass at a rapid pace.

"You don't want to be in front of the fire," said farmer Catherine Frith.

Raging out of control since last night, the fire has so far burned through more than 16,000 hectares.

Miraculously, Frith's home survived the inferno. Flames reached her fence, but her home was saved by firefighters.

"The firefighters there were amazing, there must have been about 60 trucks come in," said Frith.

But they couldn't save her sheep.

"We know about 500 sheep have died or being shot at the moment," said Frith.

Firefighters across New South Wales were shocked by the intensity of the blazes.

"The worst I've ever experienced in 60 years of firefighting," said Capt. Jim Simpson with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

Tuesday night many were toasting a job well done. Tarcutta was saved from destruction.

As the people of Tarcutta drive up the main road into town, they'll have a very visual reminder of just how close they came to oblivion. More than 500 hectares burnt to black.

Touring fire-hit areas, the premier says the state isn't in the clear yet.

"There are in the order of 130, 140 fires across the state and 30 uncontained," said New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell.

And temperatures are expected to yet again soar above 40 degrees.

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