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Military exercise sparked big Australian wildfire

4:07 PM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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SYDNEY - Australian investigators say a military training exercise ignited one of the major wildfires that have ravaged Australia's most populous state in the past week.

More than 100 fires have killed one man and destroyed more than 200 homes in New South Wales state since Thursday.

Rural Fire Service spokeswoman Natalie Sanders said Wednesday an investigation found that a massive fire near the city of Lithgow west of Sydney had started at a nearby Defense Department training area on Wednesday last week.

The fire has burned 47,000 hectares (180 square miles) and destroyed several houses.

The Defense Department declined to comment. Defense has confirmed that an explosive ordnance training exercise had been conducted that day.

The Associated Press

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