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Due to the extraordinary weekend of devastation much of NSW has suffered, we've dedicated this newsletter to telling the stories of those affected communities. The sheer thought of having your life end up a smouldering ashen mess is difficult enough to contemplate, fighting for your life to somehow escape is quite another. And then there's the prospect of dealing with loss - human loss.Our hats are tipped to everyone who has been involved in the weekend fire effort, and if they were fire-proof our thanks would stop the flames. Instead, we will support you as best we can as another bigger, more catastrophic threat looms on Tuesday.
GLEN INNES EXAMINER: 'There was no warning'. Wytaliba residents saw their village burn
Stinking of smoke, hours after losing his Wytaliba home of 30 years to a deadly out-of-control blaze, Louis Stoker's first thought was political: "Anyone who tells you that there's no such thing as climate change has got rocks in their head," he said.
Mr Stoker left the town, 60km east of Glen Innes, by car and on Friday night headed to the evacuation centre at the town's Showgrounds. "I've lost the whole bloody lot, but maybe my pigs are alive." READ ON
PORT NEWS: Broken-hearted and in shock, community mourns the loss of fire victim Julie Fletcher
Fire swept through the tiny town of Johns River on Saturday afternoon. Barrie Stewart wasn't home but headed back there. Her body was discovered in a burnt-out home in the town of Johns River some 40 kilometres north of Taree on the mid-north coast.
"At Urunga I heard the southerly was coming and I knew we would be in trouble," he said. They were.
And the consequences were fatal for his neighbour Julie Fletcher. READ ON
NAMBUCCA GUARDIAN: 'It was like Deliverance'. Fire victims call it the worst they've ever seen
The trauma of yesterday is writ large on people's faces as they nervously wait to hear whether their house was one of the lucky ones that survived the night.The number of properties razed by yesterday's fierce inferno is currently being tallied by a Building Impact Assessment Team. But word from crews on the ground is the number is more than a dozen, and could be as many as 20. READ ON
MANNING RIVER TIMES: Jo Vakaahi fought the Old Bar fire with a wet tea towel on her head
As Jo Vakaahi stood on her roof with a hose as a ferocious bushfire barrelled towards her home, her frightened dog accidentally knocked the ladder over leaving her trapped. Thank God for neighbours.
"It's the tiredness that gets you, you want to sleep but you can't relax because you don't know what's going to happen," Ms Vakaahi said. READ ON
WAUCHOPE GAZETTE: It happened in 2017 and now again
People living in Pappinbarra, west of Wauchope hoped they would never lose homes to another bushfire after the devastating blaze of February 2017, but sadly several homes and sheds in the little community were destroyed on Friday night. Adrian Guthrie had the heartbreak of having to leave his beloved home of 40 years in Upper Pappinbarra knowing he would never see it again. READ ON
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