Australian Bushfires Rage Uncontrolled

January 3, 2006

A series of bushfires during the hot Australian summer – temperatures well above C40°(F102°) – have destroyed more than a dozen homes north of Sydney, and are threatening hundreds more.

The BBC reported that one emergency worker had died, apparently from heat stroke, after helping with the evacuation of several hundred residents from threatened areas.

The fires are being fanned by high winds as they rage through tinder dry brush and eucalyptus forests. While scattered showers have brought relief to some areas, the fires continue to burn unchecked in a number of locations. Forecasters have predicted that more hot and windy weather is likely in the days ahead.

There is as yet no estimate of the losses caused by the fires.

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