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Searing Heat and Bush Fires Continue to Affect Australia – January 16th, 2013

35.2S 147.6E

January 16th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day

Australia – January 11th, 2013

Since early January, bush fires have been raging across some of the most populous parts of Australia, feeding off widespread drought conditions and high winds during the country’s hottest spring and summer on record. On Monday, Australia’s hottest day on record, the national average was 104.59 degrees Fahrenheit (over 40 degrees Celsius). Four months of record-breaking temperatures stretching back to September 2012 have produced what the government says are “catastrophic” fire conditions along the eastern and southeastern coasts of the country, where the majority of Australians live.

Firefighters struggled to contain huge bushfires in Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, which have scorched around 500 square miles of forest and farmland since Tuesday. Fires on the island state of Tasmania off the country’s southern coast have destroyed more than 300 square miles since Friday. No confirmed deaths have been reported in connection with the fires, but about 100 people have been unaccounted for since a fire destroyed around 90 homes in Dunalley, Tasmania, last week. State agricultural officials say that tens of thousands of cattle and sheep are believed to have been killed in the fires, which have torn through some of the country’s most productive agricultural and farming regions.

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