This photo shows red bushfire sky over Mallacoota, Australia.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Resident of Mallacoota after deep red inferno: “Hopefully this is a wake-up call”
A scorching heat, air that turned deep red within half an hour and constantly ominous popping of exploding gas bottles. The Australian village of Mallacoota went through perilous hours yesterday. Thousands of people fled to the sea or even into the water because of the rapidly emerging forest fires.
Almost twelve hours later there is still a thick layer of smoke over the village with just over a thousand inhabitants, says Mallacoota resident Val York over the telephone. If you want to go outside, it is best to do that with an oxygen mask, even though the fire front has now gone away.
Together with her husband Peter, Val York has been running boat rental company Buckland’s Jetty Boat Hire for years. The couple was firmly convinced that their property, which is located about five kilometres north of the centre of Mallacoota, would be swallowed up by the forest fires.
“Our fuel is stored in an old wooden shed. When we left, we could already see the flames. We knew what time it was.”
When they started inspecting the expected damage with a boat a few hours later, they saw the smoke rise behind the shed. Miraculously, the building and the wooden scaffolding remained unaffected.
York posted a video of the ‘miracle’ on Facebook.
Their property did not come out of the inferno completely intact. Two boats were lost and the wooden carport at their home was scorched.
But York is relieved that it stopped there. Her friends were less lucky. “They’ve lost their homes. It’s a tragic day”, she says. …
Val York of Buckland’s Jetty Boat Hire hopes that the worst of this summer is over with yesterday’s inferno. She is looking forward with fear to what might come in the coming years.
She has only seen the area around Mallacoota become drier in recent years. “And it is all forest here. Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for our government. So that they will implement their policies differently when it comes to fossil fuels.”
York is referring to the increasing criticism of Prime Minister Morrison. He refuses to take measures when it comes to, eg, the country’s lucrative coal industry. Critics believe that Morrison is doing too little about climate change and see the forest fires as a result of that.
THOUSANDS FLEE FROM FIRE ONTO BEACH Pictures of the red sky and falling embers are trickling onto social media as thousands of residents and tourists in the eastern Victoria town of Mallacoota, about 400 miles south of Sydney, seek refuge from the oncoming blaze and prepare to escape into the Tasman Sea if the fire comes closer. [HuffPost]
NEARLY HALF A BILLION ANIMALS FEARED DEAD IN AUSTRALIAN WILDFIRES Ecologists at the University of Sydney estimated that 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have died in the blazes that have swept Australia since September, including a third of the koala population in their main habitat in the state of New South Wales. [HuffPost]
7 NUMBERS SHOW HOW BAD CLIMATE CHANGE GOT THIS DECADE In the past decade, the climate crisis, and its fatal consequences, deepened further, as temperatures rose around the globe, ice caps melted, sea levels rose and record-breaking hurricanes, floods and wildfires devastated communities across the U.S. Here are seven figures that show just how dire the climate situation grew this decade. [HuffPost]
FAILURE TO ACT: THE LOST DECADE We may look back on the years 2009 to 2019 as the “lost decade” — a time when the world awoke to the reality of climate change only to squander the chance to take the action needed to tackle it. Now, many scientists fear the targets required to avoid catastrophe are slipping out of reach. [HuffPost]
Australia: Legal report documents “unlawful” police response to Melbourne climate protest: here.