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Odishatv Bureau

Canberra: At least seven people died in the devastating bushfires that engulfed the Australian state of New South Wales since Monday, police said on Wednesday.

The latest fires, which raced towards the coast this week, have also destroyed more than 200 homes, BBC reported.

With conditions easing slightly, a major road that was closed in Victoria was reopened on Wednesday for two hours to allow people to leave.

However, many of the people remain in fire-hit areas - in one town, police dropped off 1.6 tonnes of drinking water by boat.

Reports claimed further death in Victoria. The deaths bring the total of fire-related fatalities across Australia this season to at least 18, with warnings this could rise.

Of the homes destroyed, 43 were in East Gippsland, Victoria, while another 176 were in New South Wales.

Earlier on Wednesday, New South Wales Rural Fire Service said 916 homes had been destroyed this season, with another 363 damaged, and 8,159 saved.


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