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Australians urged to flee fires

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SYDNEY — Residents were urged today to flee fires burning for a week in the Blue Mountains with a combined perimeter of 1,000 miles.

The forest blazes 45 miles west of Sydney have destroyed more than 200 houses and blackened more than 270,000 acres.

Rural Fire Service Chief Shane Fitzsimmons warned remaining residents that intense heat, wild winds and a tinder-dry forest had combined to create a scenario “about as bad as it gets.” They were told to get out…

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