Nearly 100 dead in Australian bushfire


At least 93 people are dead after raging wildfires swept through southeastern Australia but firefighters warned that they expected to find more bodies when they reach the worst affected areas tomorrow.

“We will find more bodies as we gain access to different parts of the fire areas,” Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon told a news conference.

The town of Marysville and several villages in the Kinglake district were completely devastated. Firefighters said about 750 homes had been lost after it “rained fire” on towns.

“We have found people in cars, it looks like they have decided late to leave their premises. We have found people who have been in properties, in their paddocks. We’ve found others in their houses. And the sad part is that we found children.”

Wildfires are usual in Australia, but this year a combination of hot weather, drought and tinder-dry bush has created prime conditions for the fires to occur.

The latest death toll surpassed the toll from the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires, in which 75 people died in Victoria and South Australia. Bushfires have killed more than 250 people in Australia in the last 40 years.