Australia: The stories of people who found themselves in the path of bushfires in central Queensland - - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia The stories of people who found themselves in the path of bushfires in central Queensland

18:35  12 november  2019
18:35  12 november  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

Greens ramp up climate war as fires burn

  Greens ramp up climate war as fires burn Greens Leader Richard Di Natale has weighed in on the bushfires raging in NSW and Queensland, linking them to climate change.Dr Di Natale said for decades it has been known that burning climate changing fossil fuels would lead to more frequent and intense bushfires.

These are the stories of some of the people affected by destructive bushfires in central Queensland and of those continuing to fight the flames.

Seven people unaccounted for, as fuller picture emerges of the devastation.

Traumatised residents are dealing with the aftermath of bushfires in central Queensland while continuing to watch the flames rip through other properties and bushland in the region.

These are the stories of some of the people affected and of those continuing to fight the flames.

Pictures: Bushfires rage across NSW

Jamie Fato tries to stop an out of control fire entering Owen Whalan's property at Koorainghat, near Taree in the Mid North Coast region of NSW, Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Anthony Sylvester

Anthony Sylvester has been working almost non-stop since Saturday afternoon. © ABC News Anthony Sylvester has been working almost non-stop since Saturday afternoon.

Anthony Sylvester, a Bungundarra Rural Fire Brigade first officer, has been working almost non-stop since midday on Saturday.

The Greens 'thrive' on catastrophic bushfires

  The Greens 'thrive' on catastrophic bushfires Independent Senator Cory Bernardi says "it’s disgusting” some politicians are trying to make climate policy points on the back of deadly bushfires. Greens leader Richard Di Natale took to Twitter - with the knowledge three people lost their lives and 150 homes were destroyed in fire – to blame those with differing political views for the bushfires currently devastating parts of the country. "We're in a climate emergency. The government needs to act immediately, by listening to the science, phasing out of coal, and investing significantly in our capacity to respond to natural disasters," Mr Di Natale wrote.

People who have lived with fire risk for decades knew exactly what to do, and they did it. The full expertise and advice of fire controllers has been In the latest from the Nationals-Greens sniping over bushfires and climate and blame: Barnaby Joyce has told the Australian it’s “Greens policy” that has

A range of organisations are asking for financial aid to assist people , communities and wildlife affected by the fires.

"I got a few hours' sleep here and there ... it was one of those things that got too big too quick. We couldn't deal with what we had, it didn't matter what we threw at it," he said.

While Mr Sylvester's home was saved, he lost part of his pastured egg business to the flames.

He's not sure how many chickens perished because he hasn't had time to go home and assess the damage.

a group of people posing for the camera: The faces of the central Queensland fires which continue to burn. (ABC News) © Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation The faces of the central Queensland fires which continue to burn. (ABC News)

The Gordons

The Gordons returned to their home to find it destroyed. © ABC News The Gordons returned to their home to find it destroyed.

Faith and Darren Gordon lost their home to the Cobraball bushfire, west of Yeppoon.

"[We're] devastated. I knew the house was gone but I didn't think it would be so gone," Ms Gordon said.

Smoke and ash from the catastrophic bushfires devastating Australia has spread 2,000km away to NEW ZEALAND

  Smoke and ash from the catastrophic bushfires devastating Australia has spread 2,000km away to NEW ZEALAND Ash and smoke from bushfires raging on Australia's east coast has made it across the Tasman Sea and over New Zealand forcing some residents to clean up a thin layer of ash.As fires raged across South East Queensland and New South Wales, strong winds blew the debris across the Tasman Sea.

Thousands of people are in the paths of the blazes in the states of Queensland and New South Wales, which have both declared a state of emergency. In recent years, bushfires have been occurring more frequently in Australia, starting earlier in the season and spreading with even greater

People who have lived with fire risk for decades knew exactly what to do, and they did it. NSW and Queensland bushfires : Sydney to face catastrophic fire danger for first time. In the face of disaster, everyone learns something about themselves and the people around them.

"We love Yeppoon, we love our property — even though it burned, we love this place and we'll never leave.

"Even complete strangers have given us hugs, offered support, tried to pay for things. I have had hundreds of messages from strangers offering anything and everything."

This isn't the first disaster the couple have faced.

"We've been through all three of them now: flood, cyclone and fire," Mr Gordon said.

"We are so grateful for where we live ... and we will stay, we're not going anywhere."

Richard Benson

Richard Benson lost thousands of trees to the flames. © ABC News Richard Benson lost thousands of trees to the flames.

The fire at Cobraball has burnt more than 11,000 hectares of land, destroying homes, sheds, crops and livestock.

Richard Benson is a banana grower who lost thousands of trees and his irrigation system on his property at Newby Road.

"I probably had about two hectares of bananas that have been totally destroyed," he said.

Bushfires 'quite devastating but we'll manage'

  Bushfires 'quite devastating but we'll manage' Queensland Pineapple Farmer Jake Brooks says the destruction of his farm at the hands of a Yeppoon bushfire is "quite devastating" but he'll "manage"."The fire front was something like 12 to 15 kilometres wide with a 30-to-40-knot wind behind it... we saved our house but we lost a lot of production machinery, harvesters - sheds," he said.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards research centre says the variability of normal events sits on top of that. “All of those sorts of things – they get consumed in the path of a volatile fast-moving fire.” A woman who died as she tried to flee the weekend’s devastating bushfires has been identified as

People who have lived with fire risk for decades knew exactly what to do, and they did it. The full expertise and advice of fire controllers has been In the latest from the Nationals-Greens sniping over bushfires and climate and blame: Barnaby Joyce has told the Australian it’s “Greens policy” that has

"In Cyclone Marcia it got absolutely belted; now this has happened, so it's totally wiped out again."

Tony Wellspring

Tony Wellspring has been helping protect his family's property. © ABC News Tony Wellspring has been helping protect his family's property.

Tony Wellspring is one of many firefighters battling the Cobraball blaze; his proud daughter Gracie submitted a photo of him to the ABC.

"Twenty-eight hours in and [our property] is still standing ... partly," she said.

"The fire came up the side of our hill and thankfully they stopped it before it went any further.

"Dad is absolutely nothing but a legend, and I can't thank the firefighters enough for everything they have done.

"Although tomorrow is still around the corner, all we can do is wait and see what happens ... crossing our fingers and toes."

Cathy Boys

Cathy Boys is still assessing the cost of the fire. © ABC News Cathy Boys is still assessing the cost of the fire.

Cathy Boys stayed to defend her house until her husband, who is a rural fire officer, told her it was time to leave.

She has lost some cattle but is unsure of how many at this stage.

"Things just went pear-shaped — the wind played havoc, chopping and changing, going every different direction.

Qld fire threat to worsen by weekend

  Qld fire threat to worsen by weekend The fire threat is expected to ease across Queensland on Thursday before conditions worsen heading into the weekend, the weather bureau says.Firefighters will make the most of a brief weather reprieve to strengthen containment lines as Queensland braces for worsening conditions.

Thousands have people have been evacuated from the paths of the fires burning in Queensland . People were also told to evacuate ahead of bushfires at Tarome in the Scenic Rim west of the Gold Coast and Thornton in the Lockyer Valley on Saturday but those warnings have been downgraded.

Two people have died in the Kangawalla fire near Glen Innes. The ABC has identified one of the victims as Vivian Chaplain, 69, who relatives say died trying to defend her home. Authorities have warned people throughout the state to be prepared for bushfires as temperatures soar to 40C in Perth.

"It's very scary when your house is under threat and you know that people have actually lost their houses."

Ryan Brooks

Mr Brooks is devastated to see the amount of damage at the farm. © ABC News Mr Brooks is devastated to see the amount of damage at the farm.

The Brooks & Sons pineapple farm in Bungundarra has lost some of its crop, sheds and farming equipment.

"The flames just took everything, just burnt it ... there was nothing I could do but watch it burn," Ryan Brooks said.

"The amount of damage, I don't know, it's pretty substantial. In the shed here alone I could estimate probably $500,000 worth of machinery.

"We went through Marcia and that was bad, this is probably 10 times worse I'd say, or more.

"My grandfather bought this property in 1956 or '57, my father's been here his whole life, he's been working on the farm for 50 years.

"I've been here my whole life, I grew up in the house there and to see this happen is devastating.

"We're alive, that's pretty much the main thing. We'll keep our chins up and keep going I suppose."

To find out the latest on the NSW and QLD bushfires, please refer to:

  • NSW RFS
  • QRFS
  • Ley calls on koala experts post bushfires .
    Koala experts will meet in Brisbane this week to discuss how to help the native animal, which has been devastated by recent bushfires in NSW and Queensland. Koala experts will meet in Brisbane to map out a way to help the native animal, which has been devastated by bushfires in Queensland and NSW. Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the experts - who are meeting on Thursday - will have $3 million to spend on restoring koala habitats.

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