Australia Fire Threat, Extreme Weather Closes Schools

04/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Australian authorities shut schools in the southeastern state of Victoria and sent in extra firefighters as extreme weather threatens new blazes today in the region devastated by bushfires almost three weeks ago.

The state closed 192 government schools and 176 child care centers as the temperature in northern Victoria is forecast to reach about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) with gusting winds.

"These are the worst conditions" since the Feb. 7 fires, Ian Mansergh, a Department of Sustainability and Environment spokesman, said by phone today. "It's a high-risk day."


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