Wildfire Kills at Least 10 in Australia

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- Terrified residents had to leap into the sea to escape a raging wildfire that killed at least 10 people in southern Australia, emergency officials said Wednesday.

The blaze on the Eyre Peninsula, about 250 miles west of Adelaide, was the worst of several wildfires reported around the state of South Australia, where temperatures have topped 111 degrees at the height of the southern hemisphere summer.

Residents of at least one township were forced to evacuate their homes and seek refuge on a beach and in the ocean to avoid the flames, State Emergency Services spokesman Stuart Macleod said.

``Some people had moved into the sea to escape the fire. Our people picked them up and brought them back to shore,'' Macleod said.

The peninsula fire was reported late Monday and contained by firefighters, but flared again on Tuesday before blazing out of control, police spokeswoman Kylie Walsh said.

Police found the bodies of eight people Tuesday who were burned in their cars as they tried to outrun the blaze. Another two bodies were found Wednesday on a burnt out property, Walsh said. Another six people were missing.

It was not immediately clear what started the fire. Two other wildfires also forced the closure of several Adelaide highways on Tuesday.

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