Tag: Photo Amy Paton
Bushfire survivors in Victoria’s north-east who lost power and communication for days have broken down in tears and are desperately asking for supplies after thousands of hectares were burnt, leaving their stock with no food.
- Authorities are attempting to reach cut-off communities with shipments of water, food and supplies
- Authorities have warned there is “every chance” fires burning in the state’s east could join up and work their way towards NSW
- For the latest information, visit the Vic Emergency website
Buildings were razed, properties destroyed and four people remain unaccounted for after fires tore through townships and communities across Victoria’s east and north on Tuesday.
Families in Corryong, near the New South Wales border, said they were desperate for food, fuel and farming equipment and some are still searching for family.
Helena Pluim said she had not been in touch with her daughter for almost 24 hours.
“I got onto her last night, but the fires came around,” she said.
Locals and visitors to the area sheltered in a relief centre in Corryong overnight and are now moving to a safer centre in Tallangatta.
‘We need help’
Sarah Klippel lost 1,475 acres of land and only had 15 acres left.
She said there were four to five years of fencing that needed to be rebuilt.
“We have cattle alive but no food,” Ms Klippel said.
“My husband has been fantastic, but he breaks down in the evening.
“It’s an unbelievable experience, we have three children, we don’t want to take them home because their chooks are dead, their animals are not well, it’s just been awful.”
Amy Paton broke down in tears as she begged people to help her community.
She said generators were desperately needed so cows could be milked.
“We need help for our families with fencing, with feed, we need farming help, we need people up here who can donate their time,” she said.
Ten-year-old Scarlet Leone came to northern Victoria with her family after fleeing fires in their home of Narooma on the New South Wales coast.
“We live an hour south of Bateman’s Bay, we came here to escape the fires which as you can see didn’t turn out very well,” Scarlet said.
“The whole thing’s been very stressful.”
Three Melbourne boys in Corryong have been cut off from their parents for days.
Teenagers Tom and Monty Linnestad and 11-year-old Harry Linnestad were in the area visiting their grandmother when the fires hit.
Monty said the fire was just 100 meters away from the evacuation centre on Wednesday.
“The whole place was full overnight. The power went off and smoke started to fill the place, everyone had masks and found it hard to breathe,” Tom said.
Harry said everyone “was filled with anxiety and nervousness”.
All warnings for bushfires in Victoria have now been downgraded to watch and act level, but communities are once again preparing for high temperatures and winds starting Friday.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said new fires were started by dry lightning overnight and there were 45 fires burning in Victoria’s east.
He said there was a possibility fires in East Gippsland could merge with fires moving south in New South Wales when conditions worsened over the weekend.
More bushfire coverage:
- Live blog: Fires in NSW and Victoria still burning as communities prepare to assess damage
- Ferocious blaze rips through properties in idyllic Southern Highlands west of Sydney
- Alpine towns evacuate as firefighters deal with ‘double-edge sword’ of rain
- Bright orange, then pitch black as Qantas flight hits turbulence in fire’s cloud
- ‘Just magnificent’: Farmer fights back tears as ‘army of angels’ convoy arrives
- Eden’s wharf offered a refuge from fire, then police warned it wasn’t safe
- Farmers grapple with how to dispose of livestock killed in bushfires
- Morrison denies Facebook post an advertisement as he announces fires recovery agency
- NSW fires blanket Canberra in thick smoke, leading to orange skies and poor air quality
- Coming back from holidays? Here’s what you need to know about the Australian bushfires
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said the current fires were “not like others”.
“This is still very dangerous, it is ever-changing, it is complex. The coming days and weeks are going to be very challenging, we have not seen this before,” Mr Andrews said.
“It’s going to test all of us.”
About 100 people took shelter in a school in Cann River, where the same fire that tore through Mallacoota on Tuesday is threatening lives and homes.
Alison Rainey, the owner of a local cafe, told ABC Radio they had plenty of supplies for now and were trying to get a generator up and operating.
Several families remained in the school by late on Wednesday, but most had returned to their homes ahead of more forecast hot weather for the weekend.
“Communication is a problem. The mobile coverage is patchy, that could just go and everyone’s relying on the VicEmergency apps,” she said.
“All services are so stretched … everybody needs help, everyone’s doing the best they can and hopefully we’ll be getting more help shortly.”
She said while there is a lot of anxiety in the community, everyone was rallying around.
“I don’t think we’re going to starve or anything like that, but it is concerning,” she said.