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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Australia Heat Fuels Raging Wildfires

In this Jan. 4, 2013, photo provided by the Holmes family, Tammy Holmes, second from left, and her grandchildren, two-year-old Charlotte Walker, left, four-year-old Esther Walker, third from left, nine-year-old Liam Walker, eleven-year-old Matilda, second from right, and six-year-old Caleb Walker, right, take refuge under a jetty as a wildfire rages near-by  in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, east of the state capital of Hobart, Australia. The family credits God with their survival from the fire that destroyed around 90 homes in Dunalley. (Tim Holmes/AP)

In this Jan. 4, 2013, photo provided by the Holmes family, Tammy Holmes and her grandchildren take refuge under a jetty as a wildfire rages nearby in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, east of the state capital of Hobart, Australia. The family credits God with their survival from the fire that destroyed around 90 homes in Dunalley. (Tim Holmes/AP)

As you may have heard, 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded in the U.S.

Australia is also seeing higher temperatures.

The average nationwide temperature for Australia earlier this week was a near-record of 105 degrees, adding fuel to the raging wildfires across the country.

So far no deaths have been reported from the fires, but 100 people haven’t been accounted for since a blaze destroyed around 90 homes last week.

It cooled off a bit today, but forecasters say temperatures are expected rise again by week’s end.

From Sydney, the BBC’s Phil Mercer reports.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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