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Wildfires Rage Across Southern Australia

January 4, 2013

The Associated Press

SYDNEY - Australian officials say a wildfire in the island state of Tasmania has probably damaged or destroyed dozens of buildings.

Tasmania Fire Service spokesman Paul Symington said on Friday that firefighters are trying to confirm reports that up to 65 buildings have been damaged by a wildfire near the small town of Dunalley, east of the capital, Hobart.

Symington said officials are also looking into a report that one person was killed in the blaze.

Wildfires raged across southern Australia on Friday amid scorching temperatures and high winds. The temperature in Hobart reached a record high of nearly 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit) Friday.

Wildfires are common during the Australian summer. In February 2009, hundreds of fires across Victoria state killed 173 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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