SYDNEY (AP) — Some of the most destructive wildfires ever have hit Australia's most populous state and firefighters are bracing for things to get even worse today.
It's supposed to get hot and winds are expected to kick up, intensifying the danger in the coming days in New South Wales state. Arson investigators are examining the origins of several fires. One person has died and hundreds of homes are destroyed or damaged.
The damage toll announced today is more than double the count from yesterday. It's expected to continue to rise as assessment teams and police move deeper into the destruction zone. Authorities say 68 fires are still burning with 22 out of control.
Around 1,500 firefighters have been back burning to contain blazes. Several roads in fire-affected areas north, west and south of Sydney have been closed.