HEALESVILLE, Australia (AP) - A government official says the death toll from Australia's worst wildfire disaster has risen to 108.
Authorities counted more victims overnight Monday as they reached further into a huge zone scorched by blazes that ripped across Victoria state at the weekend. At least 700 homes had been destroyed in the fires that in some cases have razed entire towns.
State Department of Sustainability and Environment spokesman Geoff Russell said Monday that 108 deaths had been confirmed.
Australia's previous deadliest fires were in 1983, when blazes killed 75 people and destroyed more than 3,000 homes in Victoria and South Australia.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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