Power lines blamed for 2 of Australia's dozens of fires
October 19, 2013 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
- NEW: "I've got to start again," says a 54-year-old woman
- Australian firefighters are still battling the fires
- At least one person has died
- Springwood and Winmalee area of the Blue Mountains are among the hardest hit
(CNN) -- Two of the dozens of bush fires burning out of control in the eastern Australian state of New South Wales were sparked by power lines that had been buffeted by strong winds, fire officials said Saturday, citing preliminary investigations.
In the Springwood fire, 193 homes have been destroyed and another 109 damaged. In the Mt. Victoria fire, seven homes have been destroyed and one damaged, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service said in a statement.
Fire investigators were still looking into the cause of the other fires.
Earlier, authorities said they were trying to determine whether one of the fires was caused by a military training exercise.
A huge blaze near Lithgow, New South Wales, started on October 16, when officials "were conducting an explosive ordnance training activity," the Australian Department of Defense said.
Investigators were trying to determine whether the two events are linked, the statement said.
Authorities said this week that some 95 fires were burning and that 34 of them were out of control.
The Springwood and Winmalee areas of the Blue Mountains were among the hardest hit, the fire service said. It suggested residents seek shelter and protect themselves from the heat. Emergency alert telephone warning messages were being sent to people in the area, the fire service said.
The fires have caused numerous road closures in the state, the fire service said, adding that a damage assessment was underway.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service crew members fight a fire near Mount Wilson in the Blue Mountains of Australia on Thursday, October 24. Wildfires threatened the western suburbs of Sydney on Wednesday as high winds and temperatures created at least a dozen new fires that were blazing across a 1,000-mile stretch of New South Wales.
Photos: Australian bush fires
Australian fire's smoke blocks out sun
Australia bush fires scorch homes
Bushfires raging in Australia
At least one fatality has been reported. Walter Lindner, 63, died of a suspected heart attack on Friday while defending his home against a blaze on the New South Wales Central Coast, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Lindner collapsed while working alongside his neighbor to save his heritage-listed homestead, according to ABC. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The toll has been emotional for many. "I said to my husband, I remembered when he carried me across the threshold," a 54-year-old woman whose house was a total loss told Reuters. "I've got to start again, but we will ... as a family, together."
The Blue Mountains area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site west of Sydney. Fires sent plumes of smoke into the air.
New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell warned Thursday that hundreds of homes could be destroyed.
Footage broadcast earlier by CNN affiliate Seven Network showed flames consuming homes.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 1331 GMT (2131 HKT)
A terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life checks off the last item.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 2340 GMT (0740 HKT)
In a plot straight out of Hollywood, federal agents gain access to a suspected Triad boss' Vegas hotel room by pretending to fix the Internet connection.
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 0434 GMT (1234 HKT)
Was it only black and Latino men who harassed a woman in NYC? The filmmaker has found himself in a race controversy.
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 0317 GMT (1117 HKT)
The history of human rights often overlooks the struggles of gay people. This must change.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0115 GMT (0915 HKT)
Armed with Kalashnikovs and chanting for the dead comrades, women are among ISIS' most feared enemies. They are fighting for their families -- and now they are getting U.S. help.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1246 GMT (2046 HKT)
Lere Mgayiya put his best foot forward and set up a shoe-shine firm after his career plans fell flat.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0528 GMT (1328 HKT)
One Chinese drone manufacturer wants to take away the warmongering stigma of "drones."
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0312 GMT (1112 HKT)
Sketcher Luis Simoes is traveling the world -- slowly. And he's packed his sketchbook.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 2043 GMT (0443 HKT)
European states help North Korea's brutal treatment of its people by allowing luxury goods like cars and cognacs to evade sanctions, two experts say.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 1106 GMT (1906 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.