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Bushfires raged out of control across Australia

09 January 2013 / All photos: © ANP /

Intense wild fires, or bushfires as they are called in Australia, are burning out of control across southeast Australia with authorities describing the condition as “catastrophic.”
A drop in temperatures helped firefighters in Australia to grapple with fires raging across the country on Wednesday, though 30 blazes were still burning out of control, forcing more people to flee and laying waste to homes and livestock.

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This handout picture taken late on January 8, 2013 and provided by New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW Rural Fire Service) on January 9, 2013 shows trees burning and smoke billowing from a fire along the Princes Highway at Deans Gap in the Shoalhaven area in New South Wales. A drop in temperatures helped firefighters battling blazes across Australia on January 9 but up to 30 wildfires were still raging out of control, destroying a handful of homes and forcing people to flee

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Fire engine appliances continue to pour into Dean's Gully as a huge black pall of smoke fills the sky near the town of Wandandian south of Nowra, New South Wales Jan. 8, 2013. No properties have been lost in the Dean's Gully fire, apart from some farm sheds, which continues to burn out of control. Four new ares in NSW have been given a 'catastrophic 'fire danger rating meaning that if fires break out they will be uncontrollable and fast moving, so residents should leave

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This undated handout aerial picture provided by New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW Rural Fire Service) on January 8, 2013 shows a bushfire burning 8km south west of Naradhan, north of Griffith in New South Wales. Bushfires raged out of control across Australia's most populous state on January 8, fanned by intense heat and high winds in "catastrophic" conditions that threatened homes and triggered evacuations

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A melted fibreglass boat at the jetty after bushfires swept through the region over the weekend at Boomer Bay on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania, Tuesday Jan. 8, 2013. Residents on a southern Tasmanian peninsula have been urged to seek refuge ahead of a renewed bushfire threat across the region.

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Unfamiliar territory.....A kangaroo hops through a burnt out paddock after a grassfire in Sunbury north of Melbourne,Victoria Jan. 8, 2013. The fire has been contained. High winds and record temperatures fanned fires in the south east region of the country,. More than 130 fires are preently burning in neighbouring New South Wales state

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Burnt out cars at the jetty on the Tasman Peninsula in Boomer Bay, Tasmania, Australia, 08 January 2013. Residents on the southern Tasmanian peninsula have been urged to seek refuge ahead of a renewed bushfire threat across the region.

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Burned areas are seen at a grass fire site in Oura, near Wagga Wagga, Australia, 08 January 2013. New South Wales has a total fire ban with some regions placed under 'catastrophic fire conditions', the highest fire danger level, as near record temperatures of 43 degrees Celsius are predicted.

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Firefighters battle a grass fire in Oura, near Wagga Wagga, Australia, 08 January 2013. New South Wales has a total fire ban with some regions placed under 'catastrophic fire conditions', the highest fire danger level, as near record temperatures of 43 degrees Celsius are predicted.

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A house damaged by a bushfire is seen from a helicopter in Boomer Bay, Tasmania, Australia, 05 January 2013. Hundreds of local residents and tourists took to the sea in boats on 05 January to escape forest fires that burned to the waterline in Australia's island state of Tasmania. A major bushfire in Forcett that has been affecting numerous communities, including in and around Dunalley and Boomers Bay, has been downgraded to a Watch And Act Level as more moderate weather spreads across the island state.

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A bushfire smoke plume visible from Park Beach in Forcett, south-east of Hobart, Tasmania, 04 January 2013. Tasmanian police say they are not able to confirm reports of a death in a huge bushfire in Dunalley near Forcett that has already destroyed homes, a school and an RSL club.

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Supplied image of a fire in the Forcett/Copping area looking across from Orielton in Tasmania, 04 January 2013. Tasmanian firefighters' worst fears have been realised with catastrophic conditions in the state's south leading to the loss of property

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Up close and dangerous....a Queensland Fire and Rescue crew member gets in close to douse flames on Bribie Island, north of Brisbane, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. A watch and act alert has been issued for some residents of Bribie Island, where a bushfire continues to burn out of control.

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An estimated 10,000 sheep have died in the New South Wales bushfires

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A severely burnt sheep stands in a paddock near Bookham outside of Yass, in New South Wales, Australia, 09 January 2013.

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A farmer checks on her sheep in burnt farmland near Bookham outside of Yass, in New South Wales, Australia, 09 January 2013

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This handout aerial picture taken on January 9, 2013 and provided by New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW Rural Fire Service) shows smoke rising from a fire at Deans Gap near Sussex Inlet in the Shoalhaven area in New South Wales. Cooler conditions helped firefighters battling blazes across Australia on January 9 but up to 30 were still out of control, destroying a handful of homes and killing thousands of livestock.

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Members of the Walker and Holmes families shelter in the water next to a jetty at the Holmes' property at Dunalley, south east Tasmania, as a bushfire tore through the area on January 4, 2013.