Australian wildfires destroy homes and force evacuations

Scores of wildfires continued to rage across vast tracts of Australia’s drought-stricken east coast on Wednesday, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes, some for the second time in a week.

The most intense fires were concentrated in the northeastern states of New South Wales and Queensland, although a fire emergency warning had also been issued for a blaze threatening the west coast city of Geraldton.

New South Wales had lost more than 200 homes since Friday, while 14 homes had been destroyed in southeast Queensland.

Some communities have been evacuated repeatedly as the fire danger recedes, then returns with flames fanned by strong wind changes.