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With 1 Week To Go Until Summer, Australian Fires Burn 20 Homes, Kill One

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:03 PM
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With 1 Week To Go Until Summer, Australian Fires Burn 20 Homes, Kill One
OUT of control fires have claimed their first fatality and destroyed more than 20 homes in the worst day of the bushfire disaster engulfing much of Victoria's east. Erratic winds yesterday finally pushed the Gippsland inferno further south into populated townships.

Last night, the Country Fire Authority said the properties had been lost in the communities of Toongabbie, Cowwarr and Seaton in the Heyfield area of Gippsland. While the CFA was unable to say exactly how many had been lost, there were unconfirmed reports the number could be as high as 22. It was feared that nine homes had been razed in Jamieson, near Mansfield. Authorities confirmed that a man fell off the back of a ute while protecting a property at Heyfield and died after being struck by another vehicle.

The Victorian crisis escalated as fires in Tasmania destroyed four more properties and isolated coastal towns, forcing residents to fight flames with garden hoses. Fanned by 80km/h westerly winds, the fires attacked two towns in the state's northeast, Four Mile Creek on the east coast, and Cornwall, in the nearby Fingal Valley. Four houses were razed in Four Mile Creek where residents were forced to flee to the beach as fire burned to the coast. Two more houses were under serious threat there last night.

Victoria's Country Fire Authority deputy chief office Graham Fountain described yesterday as "the worst day since these fires started".

EDIT

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,2093...
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