Further casualties of the New South Wales wildfires bringing devastation to much of the Australian state.

More than 90 were still burning on Friday, about a quarter of those are not yet contained.

Some Blue Mountain residents have been able to return to see what remains of their communities and homes.

Those surveying the smouldering ruins of what had been their homes in Winmalee had varying reactions to what they saw.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) ADAM SCHWEINSBERG, RESIDENT, SAYING:

"Everything in there I wanted to get. The ultimate goal of course was to save the whole house but it was just impossible."

(SOUNDBITE)(English) ALICIA BYRNES, RESIDENT, SAYING:

"The thing is, it can't be replaced. Furniture, that's fine but...."

Also in Winmalee on Friday was Australia's prime minister.

Tony Abbott paid tribute to the emergency services.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER TONY ABBOTT SAYING:

"I just want to say how sorry we are, on behalf of the people and the parliament of Australia, for the heartache which so many hundreds of people in New South Wales are currently dealing with, but how proud we are of the thousands of volunteers and full-time professionals who are out there keeping our communities safe on a difficult day."

Dozens of homes have already been destroyed - the exact number isn't clear.

More are at risk from the flames fanned by unusually high temperatures and strong winds.

 

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