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Grandparents save five kids from ‘tornadoes of fire’ in Australia; pics

January 10th, 2013 · 3 Comments

This guest post comes from Eileen B.

Breathtaking images: Grandfather Tim Holmes took these harrowing photos of his five grandkids escaping the wildfires because he feared their parents ‘would never see them again.’

Tammy Holmes shelters her grandchildren Charlotte Walker, 2, Esther Walker, 4, Liam Walker, 9, Matilda, 11, and Caleb Walker, 6, under a jetty as a wildfire rages nearby in Dunalley, Australia, Jan. 4, 2013. This photo was taken by Tammy Holme’s husband Tim Holmes.Photo by Tim Holmes, via: Time

As I look at these photos, my brain keeps playing “the children are our future.” I’m scared for the planet, and ashamed I haven’t been louder in my calls for action.

Guardian: “We saw tornadoes of fire just coming across towards us and the next thing we knew everything was on fire, everywhere all around us,” Tim Holmes told Australia’s ABC News. “We lost three houses and by that time I had sent Tammy … with the children to get down to the jetty because there was no other escape. We couldn’t get off.”I ended up having to run down through a wooded area on my own, where there was so much smoke and fire, I didn’t know where I was. So I just kept running. There was a moment of fear that this could be very, very dangerous. But I managed to run through and get to the water’s edge, which was a kind of a sanctuary.”

In this Jan. 4, 2013, photo provided by the Holmes family,  Tammy Holmes and her grandchildren take refuge under a jetty as a wildfire rages nearby in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, east of the state capital of Hobart, Australia. The family credits God with their survival from the fire that destroyed around 90 homes in Dunalley. Record temperatures across southern Australia cooled Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, reducing the danger from scores of raging wildfires but likely bringing only a brief reprieve from the summer's extreme heat and fire risk.

Mr Holmes told how he sent his wife, their grandchildren and pet dog Polly to the nearby sea jetty when he saw smoke from the looming wildfire rise from a nearby ridge.’For the next two-and-a-half hours, we huddled under the jetty as the fire intensified and produced a plume of smoke, ash and debris that left us with very little oxygen. ‘There were times when we had to move out deeper because it was too hot and there were times when the jetty itself caught fire. I was able to scoop some water onto the jetty and put it out.’ Quotes Via DailyMail

This video tells the whole story. (Note — having problems loading the video into this post — highly recommended to watch.)

From the Guardian: Australia had its hottest day on record on Monday with a nationwide average of 40.33C (104.59 F), narrowly breaking a 1972 record of 40.17C (104.31 F). Tuesday was the third hottest day at 40.11C (104.2F). Four of Australia’s hottest 10 days on record have been in 2013.”There’s little doubt that this is a very, very extreme heatwave event,” said David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. “If you look at its extent, its duration, its intensity, it is arguably the most significant in Australia’s history.”

Photo credit: Tim Holmes.  Note that Tim Holmes has granted open publication of these photos.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John Crapper // Jan 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Very sad what is going on down under right now. And I just read an article today how large segments of the population still doubt climate change. WOW!

  • 2 Springlike Weekend in the East, Rare Heavy Snow in the Middle East // Jan 11, 2013 at 7:16 am

    […] never ever seen anything quite like this – an excerpt of a harrowing, life and death story at Get Energy Smart Now! “Breathtaking images: “Grandfather Tim Holmes took these harrowing photos of his five […]

  • 3 “increasingly gloomy about the future of human civilization” // Jan 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    […] Australia shattered records for extended period of high (over 39C) temperature — as the #BigAussieHeat struck the entire continent. (Eight of the top twenty days in Australia’s temperture record have come in 2013 — eight days in a row.) And, a new color (purple) had to be added to the weather reporting to report temperatures above 50C (122F). (For compelling images from the #BigAussieHeat.) […]