KINGLAKE (Agencies) - At least 108 people were killed and entire towns razed in the worst wildfire disaster in Australian history, described by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as 'hell in all its fury'. People died in their cars as they attempted to escape the inferno - smouldering wrecks on roads outside this town told a tale of horror - while others were burnt to death in their homes. The death toll in wildfires roaring through southeastern Australia has risen to 108, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported early Monday, quoting a government official. Geoff Russell, a spokesman for the Department of Sustainability and Environment, released the latest death toll to the AAP, amid fears the figure could yet increase as rescuers sift through the debris of destroyed homes. The DSE and the fire department said emergency crews were fighting 31 active fires across southeastern Victoria state, the agency reported. Medics treated badly burned survivors and emergency crews made it through to more than 700 houses destroyed by the fires, some of which have been blamed on arsonists. "Some 14,000 properties and customers are without power," according to a spokesman from the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO). Thousands of survivors jammed community halls, schools and other makeshift accommodation as troops and fire-fighters battled to control huge blazes fed by tinder-box conditions after a once-in-a-century heatwave. "Hell in all its fury has visited the good people of Victoria in the last 24 hours. Many good people lie dead, many injured," Rudd told reporters, deploying army units to help 3,000 fire-fighters battling the flames. The previous highest death toll in Australian wildfires was 75 people killed in Victoria and neighbouring South Australia in 1983 on what became known as Ash Wednesday. The latest fires in Australia's southeast flared on Saturday, fanned by high winds after a heatwave sent temperatures soaring to 46 C (115 F), and continued to burn out of control Sunday. They wiped out the pretty resort village of Marysville and largely destroyed the town of Kinglake north of Melbourne, with houses, shops, petrol stations and schools razed to the ground. Marie Jones said she was staying at a friend's house in Kinglake, where at least 18 people perished, when a badly burnt man arrived with his infant daughter saying his wife and other child had been killed. "He was so badly burnt," she told the Melbourne Age's website. An AFP photographer who made it into Kinglake described a road strewn with wrecked cars telling of desperate, failed attempts to escape. The cars appeared to have crashed into each other or into trees as towering flames put an end to their desperate flight from the town. Some did not even make it onto the road, said Victoria Harvey, a resident waiting at a roadblock to be allowed to return to the site of her destroyed home.