Australian crews race to contain blazes as damage bill soars

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jan 06, 2020

Australia's exhausted firefighters are taking advantage of cooler weather to shore up defenses against the deadly wildfires that have ripped across the country.

Officials warn the blazes are likely to flare again within days when scorching temperatures are expected to return. The first hints of the financial toll from the disaster are emerging, with the Insurance Council of Australia saying the estimated damage bill had reached 700 million Australian dollars ($485 million).

That estimate comes one day after the government announced it was committing an extra 2 billion Australian dollars ($1.4 billion) toward the recovery effort.