‘Just Red, Everywhere’: Australia Fire Traps Seaside Residents On Beach
Updated at 8:37 p.m. ET (Dec. 31, 2019)
In the small coastal Australian town of Mallacoota, an out-of-control wildfire on New Year’s Eve morning forced some 4,000 people to flee to the water during one of the country’s most destructive fire seasons in recent memory.
Alex White, a reporter for the Herald Sun, told NPR that Mallacoota is popular among tourists and fishermen. The extreme conditions threatened all the roads out of town.
“When there was a really dramatic wind change at about 4 a.m., it swept close to the town and actually burned some buildings in the town, and everyone had to evacuate down to the beach,” she said. “There were reports of embers the size of mobile phones falling on people, smoke everywhere.”
We should all lament the loss of all the Australian wildlife as well.