AUSTRALIA FIRE PHOTOS: Animals, Aerials & the Aftermath

AUSTRALIA FIRE PHOTOS: Animals, Aerials & the Aftermath
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The remains of a sheep pen smolder after a wildfire near Labertouche, in southern Australia on February 7, 2009. Charred cattle and sheep corpses are said to be lining roads after the weekend's historic fires, according to the AFP news agency.

The country's record drought, referred to by scientists as the worst in a thousand years, helped fuel the devastating blaze. Some experts think raging fires sparked by drier conditions may actually be a sign of a new order in Australia.

"The dessication of the landscape here is the new reality," ecological philosopher Freya Matthews, of Australia's La Trobe University, wrote in reaction to the wildfires in the Sydney Morning Herald. "It is now our climate."

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— Photograph by Mick Tsikas/Reuters
 
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