Wildfires continue to rage in Australia

Residents flee their homes as resurgent Australian wildfires destroyed at least one home and injured two firefighters on the outskirts of Melbourne. (AFP) 

Officials say the threat from a series of wildfires that have burned across southern Australia this month has not passed, predicting a return to dangerous conditions later this week.

Victoria state Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce Esplin said on Tuesday at a briefing of emergency officials, “The devastating fire season continues.”

Blazes on February 7 claimed at least 210 lives.

Esplin said at least 2,029 homes were destroyed in the fires – raising the tally from some 1,800 homes. The Insurance Council of Australia said Tuesday that 6,230 claims totaling A$790 million ($510 million; Dh1.9 billion) had been lodged.

Four major fires continue to burn. Temperatures are expected to rise on Friday to the high 30s Celsius, accompanied by strong winds. 

 

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