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World Briefing / Australia

New wildfires stoke panic

February 24, 2009|Times Wire Reports

With terrifying memories of the country's deadliest wildfires still fresh, residents chose to flee rather than protect their homes when new blazes broke containment lines and threatened the fringes of Melbourne.

Many victims of the Feb. 7 disaster died in their cars or in the open, and police said they tried too late to escape. Since then, officials have urged residents to choose quickly and stick with their decision: Leave early, or stay and fight.

Relief centers filled with people who had loaded their cars with personal belongings and came to wait out the latest emergency.

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