Winds still causing problems in Victoria

Winds still causing problems in Victoriapublished

11 Feb 2009

Cooler conditions in Victoria are helping firefighters to widen fire barrier lines around bush fires but high winds are still causing problems.

The official death toll stands at 181 and more than 900 homes have been destroyed.

Four thousand firefighters are battling 33 bush fires, 23 of which are out of control. A southerly wind is continuing to fuel the flames as they make their way through tinder dry vegetation.

Victorian state premier John Brumby is warning that up to 50 bodies are burned beyond recognition and may never be identified.

Authorities believe they are getting closer to identifying some of the arsonists believed to have been responsible for lighting several of the fires.

Australia’s cricketers are making a flying visit to fire-stricken areas. Rather than go straight from Adelaide to Brisbane to prepare for the series decider against New Zealand, the team will fly into Melbourne and then on to Whittlesea, one of the towns most affected by the disaster. Last night’s one day international against New Zealand in Adelaide raised $7.5 million for the bush fire victims.

Further up the coast, Queensland is sodden after flooding and more heavy rain is expected in the next few days.

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