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The remains of a house near Kinglake after wildfire tore the town apart some 100km north-east of Melbourne on February 9, 2009. Wildfires that have claimed 131 lives threatened to engulf a dozen more Australian communities, leaving a grim legacy of charred homes, bodies and shattered townships. As troops and firefighters struggled to douse the flames, Victoria state’s Country Fire Authority issued a series of alerts warning of possible flare-ups across the southeast state. AFP PHOTO/Paul CROCK (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)