British expats in Australia terrified by devastating wildfires

Published:  7 Jan at 6 PM
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Long-stay British expats in Australia are revealing their fears and experiences of the devastating wildfires.

As Australia continues to burn in spite of heroic firefighting, British expatriates who’ve lived long-term in the affected areas are telling of their experiences and the terror they’re living through. Expats from the UK are used to the Australian cycle of floods, drought and wildfires on a regular basis, but the huge conflagrations are the worst in living memory.

One Briton from Herefordshire who emigrated to the Adelaide Hills 48 years ago and volunteered as a firefighter for 15 years told the media he’s never seen so many fires and is fully aware what the region’s fire services are going through right now. He’s not as yet been severely affected but the thick haze of smoke is unhealthy, to say the least, and the size and ferocity of the flames are scary. He added he’s giving water to a Koala taking refuge up a tree in his garden, seemingly not in the least afraid of humans.

Another long-term female British expat who arrived in Queensland 39 years ago said some 200 millimeters of rain fell over Christmas and saved her surrounding area from total devastation. Right now, it’s cooler, but soaring temperatures are expected later this week. Evacuations are continuing across the affected regions, with both expats and Aussies uncertain as to whether there'll be homes to return to and thousands taking temporary refuge on beaches. The situation has been made much worse due to drought and unusually high temperatures, and firefighters are putting their lives at risk on a daily basis with as yet no end in sight.
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