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Man killed as Australia wildfires rage on

Wildfires continue to rage across southern Australia, killing one man as soaring temperatures make the situation increasingly difficult for firefighters.

A firefighter assesses a wildfire in Gippsland, Victoria. Credit: Channel 7

The man, who has not been identified, was discovered in a burned out car near Seaton in Victoria, around 120 miles east of Melbourne, Victoria Police said.

He is believed to be the first victim of the wildfires that have plagued Australia since the beginning of the summer.

Firefighters are unable to put out a home ablaze in Gippsland, Victoria. Credit: Channel 7

"It's a very dangerous environment we're experiencing today," Victoria Country Fire Authority operations manager Bill Johnstone said. "Given the conditions, it's probably as bad as it can get".

The fire in Gippsland, Victoria, seen from the air. Credit: Channel 7

Record-high temperatures and dry conditions in many areas have added to the ferocity of some fires.

In New South Wales, a heatwave is also underway, with temperatures soaring past 40C earlier today. Central Sydney hit a record high of 45.8C, while some areas nearby hit 46C.


Australian police blame drugs lab blaze for bushfire

They suspect the pair started the fire to destroy evidence of their drugs laboratories, which were hidden in a remote region of Blue Mountains National Park just east of Sydney. The bushfire destroyed 55 hectares of the park.

The charred remains of the laboratories were cordoned off today as detectives searched for evidence.

Police believe the men, who they accuse of making millions of dollars from the production of a drug known as ice, became aware that they were under police surveillance and decided to torch the labs.

28 homes lost in New South Wales fire in Australia

Photo from one of the aircraft working on the Redbank North Fire NE of Coonabarabran Credit: New South Wales Rural Fire Service

This image from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service was taken by one of the aircraft working on the Redbank North Fire NE of Coonabarabran.

The fire service reported that 28 homes have been confirmed as lost in the Wambelong Fire near Coonabarabran.

The number has since risen to 33 homes.

Wildfire threatens top Australian research observatory

Australia's largest research observatory, which houses top telescopes from around the world, is surrounded by a "large and dangerous" bush fire.

The bush fire threatening the remote Siding Spring Observatory. Credit: @NSWRFS

New South Wales Rural Fire Service posted aerial images on Twitter showing the Siding Spring Observatory under threat from the uncontrolled bushfire on Sunday, as hundreds of firefighters battled blazes across the state.

The remote mountaintop facility engulfed in smoke on Sunday. Credit: @NSWRFS


Firefighters battle Australia wildfires into the night

Australian fire crews are continuing to battle more than 100 wildfires in the state of New South Wales.

As extreme hot weather in the day has been hampering the operation to tackle the fires, efforts have also been increased overnight.

George Hancock of the Rural Fire Service said: "It's quite a dangerous time of the night but a very effective time of the night too that we can carry out a lot of this type of work".

Firefighters have also said they are confident they can stop a bushfire reaching a former military range scattered with unexploded bombs, the Australia Broadcasting Corporation reports.

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