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January 8, 2020

Australian crews race to contain blazes as damage bill soars

  • So far, the wildfires have killed 25 people, destroyed 2,000 homes and scorched an area twice the size of Maryland.
  • By NICK PERRY and KRISTEN GELINEAU
    Associated Press

    BALMORAL, Australia — Bolstered by cooler weather and desperately needed rain, exhausted firefighters in Australia raced to shore up defenses against deadly wildfires before the blazes flare again within days when scorching temperatures are expected to return.

    The first hints of the financial toll from the disaster began to emerge on Tuesday. The Insurance Council of Australia said the estimated damage bill had doubled in two days, with insurance claims reaching 700 million Australian dollars ($485 million).


     
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