Crews battling Australia's wildfires say they have been able to turn from defense to offense for the first time in weeks thanks to a break in the weather.

The weather is expected to remain benign for the next week, although any deterioration in conditions after that could see the wildfires flare up again.

A firefighter was killed by a falling tree, bringing the death toll to at least 27 in a crisis that has destroyed more than 2,000 homes and scorched an area larger than the U.S. state of Indiana since September.

Among those who died were four firefighters.