108 Dead in Aussie Fires

Blazes destroy entire towns, continue to burn
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2009 7:50 PM CST

More than 100 people are confirmed dead in the wildfires that have savaged southeast Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Entire towns have been wiped out, leaving gutted buildings and scorched cars. "There might only be 15 or 20 houses left in Marysville," a resident said. "There's only three left in Falls Road—and the whole main street is gone apart from one motel."

Officials believe arsonists may be responsible for some of the fires, and half of Victoria, a densely populated state, could be declared a crime scene. More than two dozen blazes continued to burn Monday morning. “I fear in the days ahead that the news is going to be bad and, I believe, the nation needs to prepare itself as full facts become known,” Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said.

(More Australia stories.)

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