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Wildfires Ravage Southern Australia

  • VOA News

Australian authorities say wildfires burning through the southeastern state of New South Wales have destroyed around 100 homes near Sydney and left one man dead.

Officials said Friday that around 100 fires are burning, fanned by unusually high temperatures and high winds, about a third of which are still uncontained. Hundreds of people spent Thursday night in evacuation centers on the outskirts of Sydney.
The wildfires raging through New South Wales have already destroyed at least 100 homes near Sydney.

Australian authorities warn that more properties were likely to fall victim as the fires burned out of control.

“The fire activity that we were being reported was certainly extreme. Certainly we had flame heights in excess of 20 to 30 meters,” said one firefighter.

Location of wildfires in southern Australia

Location of wildfires in southern Australia

The one reported death so far was of a 63-year-old man who had a heart attack as he tried to defend his home.

Some areas in the Blue Mountains were expected to reopen as the weather turned milder on Friday.

The anticipated change is all too late for those now struggling to come to terms with the loss of their homes and possessions.

Even as the weather starts to change, officials say conditions are still dangerous.

Some information in this report was provided by Reuters.