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Man killed as wildfires rage across Australia

A bushfire burns on Melbourne Street in Cessnock, about 120km north of Sydney, in this handout picture provided by the Rural Fire Service on January 18, 2013. REUTERS/NSW Rural Fire Service/Handout

SYDNEY: Wildfires raging across southern Australia have killed one man and destroyed several homes.

Police say the body of a man was found Friday in a burned-out car near the small town of Seaton, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) east of Melbourne in Victoria state.

The man was the first person confirmed killed in the hundreds of fires that have been raging across the continent since the Australian summer began.

A 61-year-old firefighter also was found dead on Sunday a few kilometers from a backburning operation in the island state of Tasmania. Officials have not yet determined how he died.

Wildfires are common throughout Australia in the summer, although record-high temperatures and dry conditions in many areas have added to the ferocity of some of the blazes.

 

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