A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
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February 8, 2009
Australia's worst-ever wildfires
Police declared crime scenes Monday in towns destroyed by Australia's worst-ever wildfires, as investigators moving into the charred landscape discovered hellish scenes and more bodies. Police confirmed 128 deaths from the fires Saturday that tore a destructive path across a vast swath of southern Victoria state, reducing entire towns to ruins. Officials suspect some of the more than 400 fires that raged during the weekend were deliberately set. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, visibly upset during a television interview, reflected national disgust at the idea. At least 750 homes were destroyed. Officials said both the tolls of human life and property would almost certainly rise.  (24 images)

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Burnt out trees outside Kinglake that were destroyed by fire are viewed from this aerial shot on Feb. 8. At least 65 people were killed and entire towns razed in one of the worst wildfire disasters in Australian history, sending thousands fleeing in scenes Prime Minister Kevin Rudd compared to "hell" Sunday. The toll, already the highest in 26 years, looked set to rise further as medics treat badly burned survivors and police sift through more than 640 homes destroyed by the fires, some blamed on arsonists. AFP/ Herald Sun / Mark Smith


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Firefighters watch a helicopter water bomb a bushfire approaching the town of Peats Ridge, north of Sydney, on Feb. 8. AFP / Getty Images / Torsten Blackwood



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A crush of burnt out cars outside Kinglake that were destroyed by fire are viewed from this aerial shot on Feb. 8. Entire towns were razed in one of the worst wildfire disasters in Australian history, sending thousands fleeing in scenes Prime Minister Kevin Rudd compared to "hell" Sunday. The toll, already the highest in 26 years, looked set to rise further as medics treat badly burned survivors and police sift through more than 640 homes destroyed by the fires, some blamed on arsonists. AFP / Getty Images / Herald Sun / Mark Smith



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A supermarket at Chum Creek which was destroyed by fire is viewed from this aerial shot on Feb. 8. AFP / Getty Images / Herald Sun / Mark Smith



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A firefighter extinguishes a burning tree as a bushfire approaches the town of Peats Ridge, north of Sydney, on Feb. 8. AFP / Getty Images / Torsten Blackwood



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A policeman and forensics officer look over a house where five people died at Kinglake, north of Melbourne, on Feb. 8. AFP / Getty Images / William West



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Small acreage is burned out in Kinglake, northeast of Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 8. Towering flames have razed entire towns in southeastern Australia and burned fleeing residents in their cars during the country's deadliest fire disaster. At least 700 homes were destroyed in Saturday's inferno. AP / Rick Rycroft



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A tree burns close to a burnt out house at Kinglake, north of Melbourne, on Feb. 8. AFP / Getty Images / Willliam West



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A police helicopter surveys damage from fires northeast of Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 8. Towering flames razed entire towns in southeastern Australia and burned fleeing residents in their cars during the country's deadliest fire disaster. At least 700 homes were destroyed in Saturday's inferno. AP / Rick Rycroft



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Burnt out houses are seen at the township of King Lake, northeast of Melbourne, Sunday, Feb. 8. AP Photo



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Livestock are cornered in a burned out field northeast of Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 8. AP / Rick Rycroft



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A fire erupts in a pine tree plantation northeast of Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 8. AP / Rick Rycroft



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A fire destroys equipment at a pine tree plantation near Kinglake, northeast of Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 8. T AP / Rick Rycroft



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Firefighters fill their truck with water from a dam northeast of Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 8. AP / Rick Rycroft



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A house, top, is seen undamaged as three others lay destroyed in Kinglake, northeast of Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 8. AP / Rick Rycroft



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A ridgeline of burnt out homes lead to a house still standing near Kinglake, northeast of Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 8. AP / Rick Rycroft



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A burnt out car is inspected by a policeman as it sits in the main street of Kinglake where scores of houses were destroyed and 29 people died, north of Melbourne, on Feb. 8. AFPb/ Getty Images / William West



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A Country Fire Authority (CFA) Sector Commander looks up at a giant fire raging in the Bunyip State Park near Labertouche, some 125 kilometers west of Melbourne, on Feb. 7. AFP / Getty Images / William West



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A Country Fire Authority (CFA) staff monitor a giant fire raging in the Bunyip State Park near Labertouche, some 125 kilometers west of Melbourne, on Feb. 7. AFP / Getty Images / William West



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Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers prepare to move to save another house as a barn burns in the background close to Labertouche, some 125 kilometers west of Melbourne, on Feb. 7. AFP / Getty Images / Willliam West



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A Country Fire Authority (CFA) staff monitor a giant fire raging in the Bunyip State Park near Labertouche, some 125 kilometres west of Melbourne, on Feb. 7. AFP / Getty Images / Willliam West



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A fire truck moves away from out of control flames from a bushfire in the Bunyip Sate Forest near the township of Tonimbuk, 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of Melbourne, Saturday, Feb. 7. Walls of flame roared across southeastern Australia, razing scores of homes, forests and farmland in the sunburned country's worst wildfire disaster in a quarter century. AP Photo



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Emergency vehicles are gathered as firefighters battle a blaze near a structure in the Bunyip State Forest near the township of Tonimbuk, in Australia's Victoria state, Saturday, Feb. 7. AP / Andrew Brownbill



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An emergency vehicle races away from a blaze near a structure in the Gippsland region in Australia's Victoria state, Saturday, Feb. 7. Raging wildfires swept southeastern Australia on Saturday. AP / News Ltd. / Alex Coppel



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