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Australian fire zone a crime scene; 166 killed

Australian fire zone a crime scene; 166 killed

Australian fire zone a crime scene; 166 killed

A fire erupts in a pine tree plantati...


WHITTLESEA, Australia — Police declared incinerated towns crime scenes Monday, and the prime minister spoke of "mass murder" after investigators said arsonists may have set some of Australia's worst wildfires in history. The death toll rose to 166.

There were no quick answers, but officials said panic and the freight-train speed of the fire front — driven by 60 mph winds and temperatures as high as 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47 C) — probably accounted for the unusually high toll.


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