Pacific

Homes destroyed in fierce Australian wildfires

In this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service smoke billows from a wildfire burning near Mudgee, Australia, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The fire has consumed more than 5000 hectares (12,350 acres) of bush and grasslands north-west of Sydney. (NSW Rural Fire Service via AP)

In this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service smoke billows from a wildfire burning near Mudgee, Australia, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The fire has consumed more than 5000 hectares (12,350 acres) of bush and grasslands north-west of Sydney. (NSW Rural Fire Service via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Officials say several homes have been destroyed by huge wildfires that tore across Australia's most populous state over the weekend.

Scorching temperatures and fierce winds fanned the flames across a wide swathe of New South Wales on Saturday and Sunday. More than 2,500 firefighters battled nearly 100 fires as temperatures climbed to 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of the state. One fire alone burned through 50,000 hectares (124,000 acres).

New South Wales Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said on Monday that two firefighters were hospitalized. One suffered burns to the hands and face, while another had a laceration to the hand.

Fitzsimmons said the full extent of property damage was still unknown on Monday. But at least 19 homes were destroyed.