NSW Premier says “there isn’t much left” of Balmoral

A survivor rode out the fire storm in a coffin-sized kiln

kiln survived bushfire coffin

Many structures have been destroyed by the rapidly spreading Green Wattle Creek bushfire in the small community of Balmoral, New South Wales. Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said “there isn’t much left” of the town in the Southern Highlands 49 air miles southwest of Sydney, Australia.

The fire burned through Balmoral twice, once on Thursday and again Saturday when it was pushed by strong winds that accompanied a frontal passage. The town, population 426 in the 2016 census, has about 150 homes.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service reports that the Green Wattle Creek Bushfire has burned 474,000 acres. About 12km to the north is a huge blaze that is the product of four bushfires burning together — Gospers Mountain, Kerry Ridge, Little L Complex, and Three Mile. These five fires southwest and northwest of Sydney have burned a total of 2,228,000 acres (926,000 hectares).

Satellite photo of Balmoral, NSW.
Satellite photo of Balmoral, NSW. Google Earth. Jan. 3, 2019

As the Green Wattel Creek Bushfire burned through Balmoral Steve Harrison, a 67-year old artist, a potter, survived by climbing into a small kiln.

The day before I had actually built myself a small kiln down the back — a coffin-sized kiln — just big enough for me to crawl inside. I was in there for half an hour while the firestorm went over. That was my plan B.

Previously he had installed pumps and sprinklers to protect his home. Before the fire approached he and his wife wrapped their home in aluminum foil. The house survived, but his potting shed was destroyed.

Aviation rescue crews from the military have been checking homes and removing people at risk when there is no other option.

Military Assistance Australia bushfires

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “NSW Premier says “there isn’t much left” of Balmoral”

  1. thnak you to all the fire fighters who risk their lives to help other,s . god bless and may he keep everyone safe .


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