Australian bushfires destroy almost 100 buildings

The worst of Australia's fire season has destroyed nearly 100 buildings, causing disaster across two states.

In the tourist town of Tathra in New South Wales, the fire came without warning.

"It was a day out of hell," said one resident.

With temperatures soaring to nearly 40degC, firefighters battled but stood little chance as the 1000-hectare blaze burned out of control.

Locals fled with their lives and their families but were forced to leave the rest behind. Nearly a quarter of the town's population slept overnight in an evacuation centre.

Others fled to the ocean, wondering what was left of their homes.

The destruction is massive, with at least 70 homes and businesses brought to the ground in Tathra.

They're not the only ones - in Victoria, 18 more homes were claimed as more than 150 fires blazed. At its worst, 40,000 hectares were in flames across the state.

As the fires come under control, the distressing aftermath can be seen.

Lorraine Sargent told 7 News her son's family has "lost everything".

"We battled the Ash Wednesday fires, and now this".

The 1983 bushfires killed 75 people. This time, while the toll to property is tremendous, there have been no reports of deaths or injuries in Victoria or New South Wales.

Hopefully that number will remain at zero as the bill for damage continues to grow.