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Scores of Australians evacuate homes in mountains near Sydney as wind fans wildfires

  • 26d331a79deaec23400f6a7067009434.jpg

    Jennifer Schweinsberg and her son David take photos of the ruins of their family home in Sunny Ridge Drive in Winmalee 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Sydney in Australia, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 after a wildfire swept through the street burning their home and several others on Oct. 18, 2013. Wildfires have destroyed more than 200 properties including 122 homes with authorities asking residents and people to prepare for worsened conditions Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith) (The Associated Press)

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    Jennifer Schweinsberg and her son David walk around the back yard of their destroyed family home in Sunny Ridge Drive in Winmalee 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Sydney in Australia, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 after a wildfire swept through the street burning it and several other homes on Oct 18, 2013. Wildfires have destroyed more than 200 properties including 122 homes with authorities asking residents and people to prepare for worsened conditions Wednesday.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith) (The Associated Press)

  • fcf2e31a9d67ea23400f6a706700bd64.jpg

    A house sits in ruins in Sunny Ridge Drive in Winmalee 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Sydney in Australia, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 after a wildfire swept through the street burning several homes on Oct 18, 2013. Wildfires have destroyed more than 200 properties including 122 homes with authorities asking residents and people to prepare for worsened conditions Wednesday.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith) (The Associated Press)

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    Firefighters control flames along the roadside at Bilpin, 75 kilometers (47 miles) west of Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. Authorities have warned that hotter weather and increased winds are expected and are preparing for the conditions to worsen. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith) (The Associated Press)

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    A firefighter hoses to control flames near houses at Bilpin, 75 kilometers (47 miles) west of Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. Authorities have warned that hotter weather and increased winds are expected and are preparing for the conditions to worsen. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith) (The Associated Press)

Scores of Australians have evacuated their homes in mountains west of Sydney as intensifying winds fanned wildfires that have ravaged the region for days.

The winds were showering communities with embers Wednesday, and all schools were closed in anticipation of worsening fire conditions in the Blue Mountains. The region lost more than 200 homes to blazes last week.

Springwood resident Rae Tebbutt said the atmosphere was tense in the village that was one of the worst-hit last week.

Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says 71 blazes are burning in New South Wales state around Sydney, including 29 burning out of control.

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