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October 17, 2013 AT 8:28 AM
SYDNEY -- SYDNEY (AP) - Nearly a hundred wildfires burned across Australia's most populous state on Thursday, 18 of which were out of control, as unseasonably hot temperatures and strong winds fanned flames across the parched landscape, officials said. Several homes were likely lost in the fires across New South Wales, though the exact number was not known as conditions were too intense for firefighters to reach the hardest-hit areas Thursday night, state Rural Fire Service spokesman Matt Sun said.