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21/10/2013 09:05 BST | Updated 21/10/2013 09:10 BST

Australia Bushfires: Koala Fears As Fires Rage In New South Wales (PICTURES)

Australia is in flames as bushfires burn freely - and the country's koalas are in the firing line.

Charities say they fear for the population of the animals, with many expected to be killed and displaced by the fires in New South Wales.

Audrey Koosman, of the Native Animal Trust, told ABC: "It is koala country so there's a possibility we have koalas burnt or displaced...a bit fearful we might be finding quite a few koalas."

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Pictures showing rescued koalas with singed bodies have emerged, with firefighters tending to those they rescued.

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The fires are the worst for 10 years

Meanwhile, people living in Sydney have been told not to exercise and to stay indoors with the air thick with smoke.

Crews fear the separate blazes could merge, leading one firefighter to warn of a "mega fire".

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Fire crews are battling to prevent the blazes from spreading

Concerns were focused on three fires near the city of Lithgow, near the Blue Mountains, thought to be at risk of merging, the BBC reported.

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The military is investigating whether a training exercise could have started one of the fires

An 11-year-old boy has been charged with deliberately starting fires, while a 15-year-old boy has also been arrested, according to reports.

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Most of the firefighters are volunteers

Australia Bush Fires