208 people were killed and many more injured in a series of wildfires that ravaged the Australian state of Victoria in early February 2009. Some rural towns have been completely destroyed. Over the Valentine's Day weekend people were permitted to go home to retrieve belongings but have not been allowed to return to what has become one of the world's largest crimes scenes.
Some of the fires are believed to have been started deliberately in what Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called "mass murder". One arrest for arson has been made so far in the case.
Brendan James Sokaluk, 39, stands accused of starting one bushfire which resulted in the deaths of at least 11 people. His name was released in a controversial ruling by Magistrate John Klestadt lifting a previously set gag order on the grounds that the name of the accused would be known regardless of any court order.
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