A FORMER Wrexham woman who lives close to the horrific Australian bush fires has described it as being like “the end of the world”.
Michelle Davies, lives near Sydney in New South Wales, where fierce fires raging through countryside have been described as some of the most dangerous in the region in 40 years.
Her home in Umina Beach is just 30 minutes from a firefront. Emergency alerts have been issued to residents there and smoke hangs in the air.
Mrs Davies said people were “living in dread”.
The 51-year-old, who moved Down Under in 1998 from Gwersyllt, says the fires are too close to her house in Umina Beach for comfort.
She said: “It has been dreadful here. You can’t go out of the house because of the smoke, which just hangs thick in the air.
“It is really eerie because even during the day you can’t see the sun. It’s like the end of the world.”
Although Mrs Davies, her husband Paul Jones and daughter Abigail have not had to evacuate their house yet, she is worried the inferno could easily spread to where she lives.
She said: “At the moment the nearest fire to us is about 30 minutes away at Newcastle and that is too close as far as we are concerned.
“The fires can spread quite quickly because of the heat here and if the ridge close to us catches light, as it has done in the past, then we will be in real danger.”
Many of Mrs Davies’ friends and family have been caught up in the blaze and evacuated from their homes.
“The Blue Mountains are the worst hit and we have very close friends and relations living there and they are living in dread,” she said. “Yesterday they were evacuated and I can only imagine what it must be like.
“How do you choose what to take when all the room you have is in your car and not knowing what to expect when you are eventually allowed back on to your property? It doesn't bear thinking about.”
The fires in Australia have burnt in the Blue Mountains since last Thursday. A state of emergency was declared at the weekend and again on Wednesday.
Yesterday a pilot died after his plane crashed during efforts to fight the vast fires threatening the suburbs of Sydney.
About 200 homes have also been destroyed and another man has died, possibly of a heart attack, while defending his home.
Mrs Davies is angry about how she believes some of the fires were started.
“To think some of these fires have been started deliberately just makes us sick with anger,” she added.