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Wildfires are threatening homes in Australia

Dozens of blazes broke out in New South Wales on Tuesday.

Last Modified: 10 Sep 2013 09:28
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At least one home has been destroyed and a number of cars have also been ruined [EPA]

Seven firefighters have been injured battling blazes in New South Wales, after 40 fires broke out on Tuesday.

At least one home has been destroyed and a number of cars have also been ruined.

More than 500 firefighters tackled the bushfires, which ignited after a very long period of warmer than average weather. 

Australia has just experienced its warmest 12 month period on record. The average temperature throughout the country in the year up to August 31 was 1.1C above the long-term average.

The three months ending February 28, 2013 were the hottest summer months ever recorded in Australia. This brought unprecedented heatwaves, bushfires and floods, which a government commission dubbed the "Angry Summer".

Spring only officially started on 1 September, but already the temperatures are soaring. On Tuesday it climbed to a stifling 33C.

Once the fires were ignited, the flames were fanned by a wind which was gusting over 70kph.

This is a very early start to the bushfire season and is a stark contrast to the recent weather over Victoria and Tasmania. Heavy rain and strong winds have been pounding the region, with Mount Read reporting 71mm of rain.

The same weather system is now blasting New Zealand, with much of the country expecting to see severe weather over the next 48 hours.

The wettest of the weather will be over the Westland Ranges where there could be as much as 400mm of rain. This could cause rivers to overflow their banks and trigger flash flooding.

The winds will also be causing problems, gusting up to 140kph and bringing down trees and powerlines.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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