Page last updated at 11:24 GMT, Sunday, 8 February 2009

In pictures: Australian fires

Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers prepare to move to save another house as a barn burns in the background close to Labertouche, some 125 kilometres west of Melbourne, on February 7, 2009

Firemen are battling wildfires in south-eastern Australia that have killed at least 84 people. The area is experiencing one of its worst heatwaves in decades.

Australian firefighter wiping face with towel

Tens of thousands of firefighters, including many volunteers, are battling the blazes. Officials say the fires are some of the worst on record.

A fire-fighting helicopter approaches an out of control fire in the Bunyip State Park near Labertouche, some 125 kilometres west of Melbourne, on February 7, 2009

Aircraft, such as this helicopter, are "water bombing" fires that are burning out of control in some areas.

Firetruck near fires in the Bunyip Sate Forest near the township of Tonimbuk

Witnesses say fires have been up to four storeys high, fanned by high winds. The fires have engulfed houses and cars attempting to escape.

Wreckage of van and houses in Heathcote Junction

The fires have devastated several communities north of Melbourne, including the town of Heathcote Junction.

Fires seen from a plane near Melbourne (Pic: Grant Smith)

Temperatures are dropping, but emergency services say without rain the fire risk remains high.

Firetruck among wreckage and burned ground at Wandong

One survivor said the aftermath looked as if a "nuclear bomb" had gone off. The fires have destroyed hundreds of homes and farms.

Firefighters work in the bush on the road to Kinglake

Firefighters fear more bodies will be found as rescue services explore areas ravaged by fire.

Firefighter in wreckage of home at Wandong

Police suspect that in at least one case arsonists have relit fires put out by firefighters.

This image provided by NASA shows a large plume of smoke spreading southward from a fire (outlined in red) that appears to be burning in a small area of forest west of Churchill in Victoria’s Gippslan

This image provided by Nasa shows smoke spreading south from a fire (outlined in red) in a forested area in Victoria state. Other fires are burning in New South Wales and South Australia.



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