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Wildfire leaves homes devastated

Smouldering trees line the road in Australia's New South Wales. Massive wildfires have raged in large areas of the country after a searing heatwave caused temperatures to soar. Earlier this week, officials declared five areas of New South Wales "catastrophic", meaning that if fires ignite they cannot be controlled. Crews near the state's rural town of Bogan Gate were still battling several wildfires on Wednesday (January 9). In the nearby state of Victoria, fast moving grass fire devastated several homes and buildings, leaving only remains in its wake. Officials hope the situation may ease as temperatures become cooler in the south-east. But any respite may only last a few days, before the heatwave returns. Forecasters predict temperatures of up to 54 degrees Celsius (129 Fahrenheit) in central Australia next Monday (January 14).

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