Nightly News   |  October 19, 2013

Australia battles its worst wildfires in years

Dozens of fires have destroyed homes and businesses in Australia.  Now, a massive operation is underway to get control of this major fire event. Gabrielle Boyle reports.

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>>> in australia an epic battle ged agains some of the first wildfires the country has seen. does more than 1500 firefighters battled dangerous condition cans. gabrielle boyle from 7 network s more on this tonight. she's at a rural fire service command center outside sydney.

>> reporter: carl, we are at the headquarters, thcontrol center, the nerve room where the operation and response to fires across new south wales is being coordinated. it is a massive eration. this is a major fire event. we currently have 65 fires burning across new south wales . they classify 18 of those as uncontaid or uncontrolled. the worst is in the blue mountains , 90 minutes ' drive from sydney. the local mayor is concerned.

>> this is a tragic fire. e impact on our commuty is enorus.

>> >> repoer: in the last 24 hours we have had calme nditions which allowed refighters to t into many of the worst hit areas to try to bring the blazes under control. it is expected to get hter and drier today. they are bracing for diffilt conditions. we have had confirmation already more than 200 homes we lost. just devastati for so many residents.

>> ll the hard work you p into everythin for all those yearand it's just gone.

>> reporter: total fire bands remain in place across much o new south wales with tempatures expected to increase over the next