June 24, 2018

Tathra residents return as bushfire probed

21 March 2018, 08:00 | Simon Arnold

Australian bushfires: 70 homes lost in NSW coastal town

Dozens of homes believed destroyed in New South Wales bushfire

He said the blaze was in remote and rugged bushland with restricted access for the Fire and Rescue NSW pumper and hazardous materials vehicle.

The latest size of the fire released by the Rural Fire service at 23:10 March 18 local time was 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) but it could have doubled in size since then.

Around 30 caravans or cabins destroyed on top of the 69 homes destroyed in Tathra.

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

Dozens of homes believed destroyed in New South Wales bushfire

The NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said she was "confident that every effort was made to tell people at the right time", after hearing criticism of the emergency warning system at the Rural Fire Service briefing centre.

'FR assistance offered and declined, ' Fire and Rescue NSW's log for 12.58 reads, according to the Daily Telegraph.

"I will stand the record of the Rural Fire Service and its protection to the communities through a lot of hard fire seasons".

"Hopefully by this afternoon we'll have containment of the fire", RFS Superintendent Mark Russell told the Bega gathering when delivering his update.

"The fire was a long way out when it started".

"There should be a lot more (hazard reduction burns) happening which we've been fighting for and we can't get it because of the new laws - it's ridiculous", Matt Sherlock told the Nine Network on Tuesday.

Residents Steve Jory, Terry Dixon and Geoff Munns - who all lost their homes - said emergency services were very actively fighting the fire with waterbombers.

"The RFS commissioner (Shane Fitzsimmons) has already referred this fire to the coroner, the most independent body that will do a full and thorough examination of all the circumstances and operation", Mr Grant told 2GB Radio.

"We could see houses on fire as we drove away", he wrote.

Hundreds of evacuated residents spent Monday night at a recovery centre at nearby Bega, under the care of charities and volunteers, as firefighters continued to tackle parts of the blaze.

The streets aren't yet safe enough to allow people to get off the buses but they'll at least be able to see what's left of their homes after days of uncertainty. "They're wondering what's next".

With temperatures soaring to almost 40degC, firefighters battled but stood little chance as the 1000-hectare blaze burned out of control.

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