90 houses destroyed by Australia wildfires

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Canberra, March 19 (IANS) At least 90 houses and properties were destroyed by wildfires raging in various parts of southeastern Australia over the weekend, officials said on Monday.

Some 70 houses were burnt down by a fire in the town of Tathra, which has been blazing since early Sunday morning, reports Efe news.

A volunteer firefighter was injured and four civilians were treated for smoke inhalation, but no one has been reported missing so far, according to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

The wildfire, fuelled by strong winds and high temperatures, spread rapidly over an area of 1,070 hectares but the fire service finally managed to control it due to change in weather conditions.

The fires have destroyed 18 houses, killed livestock and razed farms in areas some 200 km southwest of Melbourne.

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Firefighters are working Monday to contain a fire in Cobden and Penshurst, where some 1,700 homes are left without power as electrical poles and infrastructure has been damaged.

Experts had warned authorities in recent reports about the worsening of extreme heat waves and wildfires due to increased carbon dioxide emissions.

The fire season in Australia varies according to the area and weather conditions.

Australia’s worst wildfire in the last decades occurred in February 2009 in the state of Victoria, when an area of 4,500-sq.km area was burnt down, killing 173 people and injuring 414 others.

–IANS

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