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Wildfires Force 3,000 From Homes in Australian Heatwave

Australia’s island state of Tasmania is struggling to contain wildfires that destroyed 100 properties and forced more than 3,000 people from their homes as areas of the mainland brace for catastrophic conditions due tomorrow.

The government is sending financial aid and extra firefighters to Tasmania amid concerns people may have died in the blazes. Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who surveyed the damage today, said the government plans grants of as much as A$8,875 ($9,301) to help people in fire-stricken communities cover living expenses and find new homes.