2,500 firefighters battle massive wildfires in Australia

Huge wildfires roaring across Australia's most populous state have destroyed homes, authorities say.

Scorching temperatures and fierce winds fanned the flames across a wide swathe of New South Wales over the weekend.

More than 2,500 firefighters battled nearly 100 fires as temperatures climbed to 47C in parts of the state.

One fire alone burned through 124,000 acres.

New South Wales Rural Fire Services commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said two firefighters were teken to hospital, one with burns to the hands and face, and another with a cut hand.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the full extent of property damage was still unknown today, but at least 19 homes were destroyed.

Cooler weather today reduced the fire threat to much of the state, though temperatures were expected to begin rising again later in the week.

Destructive wildfires are common across Australia during the southern hemisphere summer.

In 2009, wildfires killed 173 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes in little more than a day in Victoria state.


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