Australian wildfires raze dozens of homes, kill livestock

This handout photo shows smoke rising from fires in the village of Tathra on the south coast of New South Wales. (DAVID PORTER / AFP)
This handout photo shows smoke rising from fires in the village of Tathra on the south coast of New South Wales. (DAVID PORTER / AFP)

Canberra - Wildfires razed dozens of homes in southeast Australia, cut power to thousands more and killed livestock, but most of the weekend blazes had been contained by Monday.

There have been no reports of serious injury, officials said.

The worst-hit town was Tathra on the south coast of New South Wales state where more than 70 homes and businesses had been severely damaged or destroyed by a fire that started in woods around midday on Sunday, Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

In neighbouring Victoria state, up to 18 homes had been destroyed over the weekend by three fires and 40 000 homes lost power, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said. Sheep and cattle losses had yet to be assessed.

Some of Tathra's evacuated residents would be able to return to their homes on Monday, as emergency workers restore power to the devastated area, Fitzsimmons said.

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