Two firemen die in Sydney bushfires


Sydney - Thousands of firefighters battled more than 400 raging bushfires in southeastern Australia last night, after blazes killed two firemen, destroyed dozens of homes and forced thousands to be evacuated in Sydney.

The two firefighters were killed as they battled blazes in heavily wooded hills ringing rural Lithgow, 100 km northwest of Sydney.However, cooler weather reduced the danger of the bushfires on Australia's eastern seaboard yesterday allowing 5,000 firefighters to prioritise the protection of property in the worst affected areas. The largest fire, burning on a 155 km front near Coonabara bran in the north of New South Wales, has destroyed an estimated 625,000 acres of bushland.