2 lives lost, 64 homes destroyed in bushfire disaster
TWO people died and 64 homes were destroyed in last week's bushfires, the Rural Fire Service confirmed as inspections of fire-affected areas come to an end.
Building Impact Assessment Teams have now completed the bulk of inspections.
Over the past week, these teams have conducted more than 1000 surveys of homes, buildings and facilities in the area directly impacted by fires.
The assessments have found:
- 64 homes destroyed, 23 damaged
- 7 facilities destroyed, 9 damaged
- 153 outbuildings destroyed, 70 damaged
- 329 homes in the direct area impacted by the fire saved.
Of those homes destroyed, 44 were at the Busbys Flat fire.
Nineteen were due to the Long Gully Road fire, and in addition to 24 which were destroyed by the same fire in September.
Tragically, two lives were also lost in this fire last week.
One home was destroyed at the Purgatory Creek fire near the Gwydir Highway at Jackadgery last week.
Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said so far this season, there has been more than 5000 bush and grass fires across NSW, which have burnt through more than a million hectares of land.
"We have seen large and destructive fires take an enormous toll on lives, farms, businesses, homes and communities in recent weeks and months, with a loss of 108 homes already this season," he said.
"And while each one of the properties destroyed is a tragedy for those impacted, more than 1200 homes in the direct area of these fires have been saved due to the hard work of firefighters, landholders and residents.
"It's important to remember that this is no ordinary bush fire season and we can't afford to have anyone think this is just another year.
"The crippling effects of the drought, unseasonably warm weather and strong winds have seen fires develop quickly and impacted on lives, farms, businesses, homes and communities.
"There will be more fires this season and there's a high likelihood of more homes being destroyed - so now is the time to get ready, make a plan, and have a conversation with your family."