SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Bushfires raging across New South Wales killed a third man late Tuesday. Strong winds and high temperatures were predicted for Wednesday, raising fears that the southeastern state's worst bushfire emergency in 15 years would deepen.

Police said flames engulfed a volunteer firefighter as he cut down a burning tree with a chainsaw near Bathurst, 95 miles west of Sydney.

Two men were killed Monday and earlier Tuesday and hundreds of people were evacuated. Several homes were destroyed.

Bushfire Services spokesman Matthew Harper said 73 fires have burned about 205,000 acres of forest and grassland in the last week. He said many fires in rugged areas still were burning out of control.

Police suspect arson in some blazes. Lightning caused others.

About 3,000 firefighters, most of them volunteers, are battling the fires.