Sydney Battles Worst Fires in 'Living Memory'

1 killed in New South Wales blazes
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2013 11:41 PM CDT
Updated Oct 18, 2013 12:09 AM CDT
Early Bush Fires Ravage Homes in Australia
Smoke rises from a fire near Lithgow, west of Sydney, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/New South Wales Rural Fire Service)

The Australian state of New South Wales is grappling with wildfires that have decimated homes and killed a man. Nearly 100 fires have taken hold, with 34 still out of control yesterday, firefighters said, per CNN. Hundreds of homes may have been destroyed already, they noted. Some 200 square miles have been burned in flames reportedly reaching 100 feet, the BBC notes. The fires are "some of the worst we have experienced around Sydney in living memory," says the state's premier, Barry O'Farrell. Hot temperatures have prompted the bush fires to arrive early this year; "We're in for a long, tough summer," O'Farrell says. Some 2,000 firefighters have been battling the flames. (Read more Australia stories.)

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