Wildfires Rage Through Australia [PHOTOS]

Australia is burning up. The country is in the grip of a record heatwave, which has made conditions ripe for wildfires. 

More than 150 fires continue to sweep across southeastern Australia, and in the island state of Tasmania. Around 1.2 million acres have been burned over the past week, according to the AFP

Five buildings at the country’s biggest optical space observatory also suffered damage on Monday, Reuters reports. Scientists said the observatory’s 10 operating telescopes, including one of the world’s top telescopes for mapping the Milky Way galaxy, were not part of the wreckage. 

It’s been so hot in Australia that they had to had add a new colour — bright purple — to their weather maps

Take a look at some of damage caused by the devastating wildfires below.  

Australia wildfireIn this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service a fire burns near Bookham, Australia, on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. Firefighters are battling scores of wildfires in southeastern Australia as authorities warned that hot, dry and windy conditions were combining to raise the threat to its highest alert level.

Photo: AP Photo/New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Ryan Perry

Australia wildfireIn this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service a fire burns near Bookham, Australia, on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. Firefighters are battling scores of wildfires in southeastern Australia as authorities warned that hot, dry and windy conditions were combining to raise the threat to its highest alert level.

Photo: AP Photo/NSW Rural Fire Service, James Morris

Australia wildfireIn this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service a fire burns near Sussex Inlet, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. Firefighters are battling scores of wildfires in southeastern Australia as authorities warned that hot, dry and windy conditions were combining to raise the threat to its highest alert level.

Photo: AP Photo/New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Bernie O’Rourke)

Austrailia In this photo provided by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service a fire burns near Sussex Inlet, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. Firefighters are battling scores of wildfires in southeastern Australia as authorities warned that hot, dry and windy conditions were combining to raise the threat to its highest alert level.

Photo: AP Photo/New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Carl Coleman

Australia wildfireThis aerial photo shows homes destroyed by a wildfire near Boomer Bay, in southern Australia, on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Australian officials battled a series of wildfires amid scorching temperatures across the country on Saturday, with one blaze destroying dozens of homes in the island state of Tasmania.

Photo: AP Photo/Chris Kidd, Pool

 

Australia wildfire Wildfire smoke rises from hills behind the village of Numeralla in New South Wales state on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Wildfires raged across much of southeast Australia.

Photo: AP Photo/Rod McGuirk

 

Australia WildfireThis aerial photo shows a view of Dunalley after a wildfire destroyed around 80 buildings in and around the small town, east of the Tasmanian capital of Hobart, Australia, on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Australian officials battled a series of wildfires amid scorching temperatures across the country on Saturday, with one blaze destroying dozens of homes in the island state of Tasmania.

Photo: (AP Photo/Chris Kidd, Pool)

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