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Australian wildfires destroy more than 30 homes

More than 30 homes have been razed in the worst fire conditions Australia has seen since a 2009 inferno killed 173 people, with flames threatening the country's second-largest city, officials said Monday. Hot, dry winds and soaring temperatures fanned scores of major blazes across the southeast on Sunday, with Victoria state sweltering through its worst fire risk weather in five years. "They were ferocious fires, they ran hard, they hit homes," said fire commissioner Craig Lapsley.

Australian wildfires destroy at least 20 homes

At least 20 homes have been razed in the worst fire conditions Australia has seen since a deadly 2009 inferno which killed 173 people, with flames threatening the country's second-largest city, officials said Monday. Hot, dry winds and soaring temperatures fanned scores of major blazes across the southeast on Sunday, with Victoria state sweltering through its worst fire risk weather in five years. "They were ferocious fires, they ran hard, they hit homes," said fire commissioner Craig Lapsley.

Worst yet to come in Australia heatwave

Australians sweltering through an extreme heatwave were warned that the worst was yet to come Thursday, with hundreds of fires raging in several states and temperatures nearing record highs. Most of southeast Australia has been in the grips of a scorching heatwave that triggered a devastating wildfire on the west coast, razing 55 homes and claiming one life on Sunday.

Australia fire survivors sue Singapore power firm

Survivors of a 2009 firestorm which killed 119 people in Australia Monday launched a class action against a Singapore power company over the disaster which lawyers described as "entirely preventable". The Kilmore East blaze was the largest of the "Black Saturday" February 2009 wildfires in southern Victoria state that left 173 dead and razed more than 2,000 homes, the nation's worst natural disaster of modern times.

UPDATE 1-Australia battles hundreds of wildfires, fanned by outback winds

* Thousands of firefighters battle hundreds of blazes * Residents evacuate homes in face of out-of-control fires * Record temperatures bake Sydney * Cooler change hoped to end incendiary conditions (Updates with latest on fires, fresh quotes) By Rob Taylor
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