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Wildfires rage across southern Australia

Jan 4th, 2013 - International News

SYDNEY (AP) — 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 says 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 are raging across southern Australia 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.

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