This is a CBC podcast. Hi I'm Laura Lynch. This is a podcast. Oh I've cast from the January second edition of the current. This is still a close literally brought behind where it doesn't. You've really really scary this. It's just cool traits. And it's coming strikeforce that's John. Gilbert a resident end of Malik Khuda Australia describing the bushfires coming towards her and others who were gathering near the local warf thousands of people in the coastal town fled to the shoreline align as winds pushed fire toward their homes and turn the sky a dark red. Massive bushfires throughout Australia are burning out of control with little sign of slowing down. At least seventeen people are dead from the fires. More are missing. Mark Togetherness is in Malakula as town cleans up and braces for possibly more more fires. Hello Hello Laura Graduate Tokyo so I couldn't be underbidder circumstance. Yes yeah I wish so to. How are you and your family? Well by uh-huh survived Only just skin unveiled safe neighbors. We end up saving primary home and managed manage to get to L. Holiday time in town Just when the flames were that ten minutes from its And managed to put them out. We've if Hose and some help from local authorities. The heat must have been intense the size and astride a a In molecular at the moment of being absolutely unprecedented it's possibly the closest thing strider has had to humanitarian crisis. I believe the size in Canada. She were About one point eight million hectares in size lonesome on some Australia has just passed six million hectares. If I'd draw north from where I lived three hundred and fifty kilometers. It's old burning. So you sound like you're holding up okay. How about the rest of your family Well I have three young teenage gills. This this is the first time that they've been through a A fire like this. We are was going to stay and defend their primary property already but because of the three girls. I didn't know how bad it was going to be so My wife and I made the decision to evacuate to be for sure area We manage to get there along with four to five thousand tourists of being the Christmas new so you period Melted normally has a population two thousand but the holiday period to grow at times to twelve thousand awesome. Fortunately we only had about four to five thousand people who were she but only a few of them managed to get out before the rides were closed and the fire was coming so all of us manage to get down either to the beach area or to the main boat ramp which aw has a rock wall. That abuts the caravan park to the like em- sale Where most people just sat shut down and waited for the come? What was what was the idea? Was it that you would get into the waters if you needed to. If that was your last resort use yes That was a story Basically we stayed in whited and the Evacuation was given him at four thirty however the winds change and that actually dragged out. I'm to possibly six o'clock the next morning morning. When we realized that the fire was finally coming at seven o'clock it grew dark We call it the black. It became so dark that if you didn't have a lot you could not see your hand in front of you'll face. One of my friends actually dropped his mobile phone sign on the ground and he couldn't find it because it we face down and it was so dark that he went to the one of the most amazing stories we had was with one of their forethought. who was out in the commercial road area? He was riding on top of his. He raised his arm up above his head Using these torch to see his hand disappeared into the black back. He said it was like dipping his hand into a bucket of ink except it was above his head. He'd been through many Bush size and and showed that it was totally surreal. And the only time he's ever seen Mesh what went through your mind though is as you led to the beach with your family look We never really felt like Our actual endangered because we were right next to the world water even if we felt that the forest would come through and check out the cavs about free four hundred vehicles. He cool that were Hecht exciting's into an area that was devoid of trees. We focus one Through MBA's caught what fire and are unable to put ask and other 'cause portside we would at least be able to go out into the Wade out into the water and survive people amazingly were actually not panicking. Did say to the people who were having a bit of a moment with the stress of at all but the majority of people were actually very quiet They read that. Most people work with woollen clothing. Smack Masks torches and good footwear. We didn't have sort of any idiots running around in shorts and t shirts and everybody was talking to one another or was walking around. Oh is being offered food food drinks and it was just sort of like an inevitability that was going to happen. What happened eventually? was that the the the black Turned into a glow of raid. Yeah I saw that was eerie. Let's just look so eerie blood Red Sky. It was a blood Red Sky and eventually other be toss sky then the wind came and then entire dummies. Three four inches long would just dropping out of the sky around US eventually been turned into sleet Of Ash truly like a lot of sleep rain except it was ashish which was cutting everything in Mba's started to come the wings picked up. Tom's our inaccessible sixty kilometers an hour. the MBA's flew out into the lower like way they were Arlyn's and the tree the on the court fire and started the blaze and it got to a point where everybody was getting ready to evacuate The far appliances come head had come down to the area where as last resort to try. I told us all with fire from fire pumps that were being filled by the lake water and at the last minute it was a wind change and the far actually took up north where we were took out Last count there were one hundred hundred have been destroyed Melika but that's not the end of it. There's now suggestions that the temperatures are going back up and and you people there are being told to get out again. What are you are you going to do is well? I'm going to stay here We have the Australian Ninety Just offshore we've one of the Humanitarian Syrian disaster relief ships Kohl's They were evacuating the fails and tourists Tomorrow and Returning joining in a couple of days to take another thousand main factor third run. We've also got Struggling Army Black Hawk helicopters that are coming in and evacuation Thursday pooping suffering respiratory issues with the stick blanket of smoke being coming down here s medics And people that are Just had surgery shopping. So where basically now now in a position where I have my property has has burnt. It's completely charred black of lost most of my senses. But why where are you going to stay when everyone else is leaving. Why do you want to stay where we can't get out? The roads are blocked. The roads are officially going going to be blocked for a minimum of two weeks. It's it's a case of Well we wish It's fun we'd like to Troy and if he does come back to stain offended The issue was that we had four to five thousand tourists here. Uh Ah which is great except eating all the food using the pixel things all So if we can evacuate those people who we want to go anyway to get back And there are a few because there is no power up until yesterday we had to boil the water and it's just a case of the wanting to leave so they will go once they leave then it will be easier for for Cruise to be able to swap over to bring in fresh fire crews and to be able to help the thing that if it happens again what about your wife. What about your wife and daughters though even if you want to stay what are they saying? What are you saying to them? Well Oh we discussed it as a family We we asked the girls what they wanted to do And all three of them say that they wanted to to stay in an help. It's the area has just been devastated to the point. That is very very hard to describe my youngest daughter WHO's threatening Came back yesterday in tears because she found a ah to that had been not been today in the yard were killed up and she You're even even feeling that emotion and that sadness She's still adamant that she wants to stay And we've been we've been reading about the wildlife in the area that she as you said found to Quality Alabama data. Do you have any other idea of. How Wildlife has fared Unfortunately today or have to go out and put down kangaroo That was on a on a night as property It had incredibly badly bloomed pause and faith It's it's skin with stripped off and Because the police Mary unfortunately the absolutely flat out who with jobs The nobody starts made come out of Russell and dispatch the kangaroo was a hard thing to do but it wasn't. I'm filtered. That was it. I haven't seen any Koala. Hello ahead some of had a fantastic disease free huge population of tiles we. We'd had collapsed. Would walk along the main street and actually going to shops It was fantastic and Fortunately a A A male beginning to hear some of them in the trees again. Elderly population is magnificent. We have beautiful parents. What's that come around doing? The heart of the fires where because some of the some of the flames reaching over one hundred meters high. We actually had some of those boots just dropping out of the sky in front of us It was excuse yes. It was an event that I think any of US agree really been through before The mixed I would so many homes in devastated estate of everybody. Who's just walking around the show and Trying to come to terms with what happened. Mark this this is your home Tom. This is the place that you love. and it just sounds so apocalyptic almost it sounds so ruined. What are you going to do? Who is it it? Will you stay there does. Does this end things for you and Malikova. That's a really good question of spoken to Several locals who are elderly and a lot of them are have just said look they they just they don't modern build. They WANNA leave. Unfortunately the the main suburb that got hit hardest was one of their lower low of socio economic areas and most people will will wrenching and working at the abalone Ernie Cope which was the second largest Employer School in the township. Unfortunately it exploded and it will take Probably a year to get back up and running so those people have not only lost their homes that they've also lost any form of income but I had so unfortunately I feel that they must be a fairly big exodus from the Areas along the beach. Here will beautifully landscapes with stairs lookouts walkways and all of them have just been what cleaned. It's now just basically stock ash with Chuck Todd Sticks With with no leaves or branches just sticking up normally through the bush. You can't see more than that. You know ten or or fifteen meters and now you can see hundreds of meters through it because all that underbrush as basically just being what clean you kind of get down to the beaches anymore. Because here's the stairs and there won't be there however I've lived in where chief for twenty years and sex threes ago retired here and and there are some areas that are really good. This morning I went and one of the small patches of green in March from headache or so six wallabies aiding the grass that was Lifting the area. It's it's a fantastic place there are. It's it's a will bus fee reserve the area is just magical and it will come come back but unfortunately we'll take up and you will be there for when it comes back. Yeah so I can't see a conscious wanting to leave. He's the the area is Is really good. It's one of the best places to raise kids probably in and the whole of Australia. It's one of those towns where Nobody locks they homes. Everybody leaves the keys in the car But don't don't you fear that's changed for good now. That things are things are just going to be different from now on. Yes look I think it will for a while I know that the trees will grow back a feeling areas where yeah we've had bushfires before and I I know that it will be hard at this point in time. I don't know just how big the impact to be. The head of the FIS was so intense that are dunk no even if the utilize the streets which normally regenerate through for all that no If they have been too badly burned and to generate will just have to We'll just have to wait and find out mark. I'm so sorry for everything that you have lost Austin I wish you and your family. Good luck in the days ahead. Please take care of yourself. We'll do it was great to have a chat to talk to you and Hopefully this Saturday coming would be just his parents were looking for. I hope so thank you thank you very much. Marc chagall lives in. Malik Khuda Australia where more bushfires are expected in the days ahead New South Wales has declared a state of emergency starting Friday morning. It's the third in as many months with strong winds and temperatures over forty the degree Celsius expected on Saturday around one hundred fires burning in the region and so far. The area inflames is over four times. What burned in the Amazon last year? Flames have been as high as seventy meters. That's taller than the Sydney Opera House. And since September more than twelve hundred homes have been destroyed in New South Wales sales and in the neighboring state of Victoria today. The smoke is so bad that one elderly woman died after exiting a plane in Canberra. The capital Australia broke temperature. Temperature records twice in December and many Australians have been voicing their anger at what they see as a lack of action on climate change from the government of Scott Morrison. The Prime Minister Minister had to cut short a visit to the hard hit town of Khobar go earlier today when he was confronted by angry protesters with one person yelling that he should be ashamed of himself since since he left the country to burn historic historically Australia's deadliest bushfire happened in two thousand and nine on. What's been called black Saturday when one one hundred eighty people died in Victoria for more C._B._C.? PODCASTS Goto C._B._C.. Dot C._A. Slash podcasts.