The town of Marysville in central Victoria has been almost completely destroyed by bushfires.
Aerial pictures taken by the ABC show street after street of completely destroyed homes in the town. Most are just piles of rubble. Some still have walls standing and a handful appear to be mostly intact.
Twenty-six people are now confirmed to have died in the fires north of Melbourne and this morning there are unconfirmed reports of bodies being found in cars overtaken by the fires in Gippsland in the state's east.
Six of the dead have been found at Kinglake, six at Kinglake West and four at St Andrews and Wandong, all north of Melbourne. More bodies have been found at Humevale, Bendigo, and Arthurs Creek.
Stuart Ord, of the Department of Environment and Sustainability (DSE) confirmed there have been substantial property losses in the Marysville area.
He said homes have been destroyed, the police station is gone, and the Parks Victoria and DSE building in the town has been burnt down.
"We know there is substantial damage," he said.
Raylene Kincaide from Narbethong, south-west of Marysville, has lost her home and says the whole township is gone.
"It's just devastating. We've lost everything. It's not good," she said. "Our little town had gone 20 minutes after we left. Probably 95 per cent of the houses are gone.
She said they are worried that some residents are missing and have not been accounted for.
"My partner was up there and he left when he saw the cattle burning. I've been in Ash Wednesday, but this is worse," she said.
About 700 firefighters are working around Kinglake, Kilmore, Murrindindi and Marysville.
The SES number is 132 500. In a life-threatening emergency or to report a fire, call 000.
Grim day ahead
Eighteen people are being treated for burns at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital, eight of whom are in intensive care.
Emergency physician John Coleridge says it is going to be grim day for those searching for others caught out by the fires
"There are apparently cars along the roadside just abandoned," he said.
"Unfortunately they'll probably find many more people, many of whom may not survive."
In total, the blazes are thought to have burnt through more than 100,000 hectares and caused extensive property damage.
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