How hot is it in Australia? (Besides that “so hot that heat maps had to add a color” thing.) From

It was so hot in the South Australian outback town of Oodnadatta yesterday that the local servo stopped selling petrol.

The Outback town has been sweltering through one of its great heatwaves with the temperature soaring above 40 degrees every day this year, reaching a peak of 48.2 degrees yesterday. …

[Pink Roadhouse owner Lynnie] Plate said the Roadhouse couldn’t serve unleaded fuel after midday because it was vapourising and wouldn’t pump in the extreme heat.

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48.2 degrees Celsius is about 119 Fahrenheit, by the way. Warm.

And Oodnadatta had it good. (A sentence I’ve typed so many times before.) In other parts of the country, wildfires burned out of control.

A live Google map shows fires in New South Wales.

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Perhaps the most powerful imagery of the damage from the fires comes from a family that sought refuge from a wall of “fire tornadoes.” (Remember fire tornadoes?)

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As Smithsonian magazine notes, a report from the government’s Bureau of Meteorology suggests that fire activity is due to increase on the continent in the immediate future, thanks to higher temperatures and decreased precipitation.

It’s probably a good thing, then, that it’s too hot for Oodnadatta residents (Oodnadattians? Oodna-Loodnas?) to pump gasoline. The last thing Australia needs right now is more fuel.

Smoke from a bushfire billows over beach goers at Carlton, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of Hobart.

Reuters/Joanne GiulianiSmoke from a bushfire billows over beachgoers at Carlton.

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