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Australia battles wildfires

19 January 2014, 15:31

Canberra - More than 90 wildfires were burning over Australia's New South Wales state on Sunday, but the danger has ebbed in neighbouring Victoria and South Australia states.

Many of the 93 fires burning across New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, were sparked by overnight lightning strikes, state Country Fire Service spokesperson Matt Sun said. At least three houses had been destroyed near the village of Minimbah, west of Sydney, he said.

He said 900 firefighters continued to battle blazes late on Sunday.

Heat wave conditions across southeast Australia last week intensified wildfires that destroyed at least 25 houses in Victoria and South Australia over several days.

Victoria Fire Service Commissioner Craig Lapsley said Australia's second most populous state had coped "reasonably well" with a fire emergency that scorched 130 000 hectares of grass and woodlands. On Sunday, the emergency was over, but 35 fires continued to burn.

In South Australia, firefighters were concerned by only one fire on Sunday.

- AP


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