Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Devastating Australia Bush Fire Destroys Scores of Homes

The huge fire at Tathra near Bega started in Tarraganda The huge fire at Tathra near Bega started in Tarraganda
Sammy Stanley | 20 March, 2018, 09:28

At 3.48pm, Fire and Rescue NSW authorities issued an emergency bushfire alert to all residents in the area, warning of immediate danger caused by the fire and urging them to seek shelter.

Mr Plevey also owns a pharmacy in Bega, from which he and staff are working to help their Tathra patients as much as possible.

"It was a day out of hell", said one resident.

Tathra local and owner of the BIG4 Holiday Park Greg McKay said he was keeping an eye on the fire out the back of his property, but within moments it was metres away due to a change in the wind direction.

"The other compounding factor is that the main road between Bega and Tathra is part of the control line we are using to try to control the south-west corner of the uncontained fire, so there are a range of variables", he said.

"He called saying, 'Daddy get out, get out, ' and I had to say to him, 'I can't.... you look after your mother, I'm staying and fighting'".

"You can visit your street, your neighbourhood, to see for yourself the situation", Mr Reeves says.

The New South Wales south coast town was devastated by the fire that destroyed 69 homes on Sunday but both offers to help were said to refused by the RFS.

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the fire a "catastrophe", meaning claims by those affected by the blaze will be given priority.

"Dealing with fires on those days - the chances of us stopping that fire completely with another truck - I don't think would've been any measurable difference", he said.

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Fires are still burning in a peat swamp near Cobrico within the perimeter of the Terang-Cobden fire, but firefighters have stopped the spread of the blaze.

The Country Fire Authority says 15,000 hectares of land have been burnt, reducing initial estimates of 40,000 ha of devastation.

"Fortunately there were no lives lost".

As the fires come under control, the distressing aftermath can be seen. "That is the most important thing when it comes to a fire like this", he said from Cobden.

For those with damaged and destroyed homes, a revolving shuttle service will operate between the Bega Showground and Tathra tomorrow (March 20) between 10am and 2pm.

"There is a bit of good luck in that, but it is good management as well".

His auto and possessions are still at the caravan park but he said he was more concerned for the locals who might have lost their homes. "All of our agencies, all service providers will be here for the long haul to get over this significant fire event", Mr Andrews said.

"A lot of farmers are now suffering, seriously suffering", he said.

"Gutters were on fire, build-up of leaf litter under homes were on fire".

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