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Most Australian Wildfires Contained

February 16th, 2009 Category: Fires

Fires in southern Australia - February 15th, 2009

Fires in southern Australia - February 15th, 2009

Smoke from fires still smoldering in Victoria can be seen in the lower righthand quadrant.

About 4,000 firefighters are still battling nine blazes in Victoria, reports the BBC, although these are not thought to be life-threatening.

People from the most devastated areas have been permitted to return to their towns for the first time, but officials estimate that over 7,000 people are homeless.

While the official death toll is 181, according to the Independent World, it could be as high as 300.

The fires roared through rural Victoria a week ago, burning out of control in part due to a heatwave and a long period of drought.

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