Australia turns from defense to offense in wildfire battle

A firefighter keeps an eye on a controlled fire as they work at building a containment line at a wildfire near Bodalla, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. Authorities are using relatively benign conditions forecast in southeast Australia for a week or more to consolidate containment lines around scores of fires that are likely to burn for weeks without heavy rainfall. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

(AP) - Crews battling Australia's wildfires say they have been able to turn from defense to offense for the first time in weeks thanks to a break in the weather.

The weather is expected to remain benign for the next week, although any deterioration in conditions after that could see the wildfires flare up again.

A firefighter was killed by a falling tree, bringing the death toll to at least 27 in a crisis that has destroyed more than 2,000 homes and scorched an area larger than the U.S. state of Indiana since September.

Among those who died were four firefighters.

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