As the Central Coast is enveloped in smoke we sent a news crew to the small valley communities of Wollombi & Laguna. What we found resembled a war zone of closed roads, partly abandoned properties and fire fronts on all sides.
One Laguna resident Michal Golski who decided to stay and defend his property said “We have a fire to the south, a fire to the west, a fire to the north and a fire to the north east. We are basically surrounded by fire”
At one point, the our news crew assisted in an evacuation of a local artist’s home as the firefront threatened her house and studio. “This has been going for weeks now…everyone is exhausted, it’s (the fire) travelling along the ridges” said Mandy Davis
We also discovered a community pulling together, helping each other. We witnessed what were dubbed “black ops”, locals self-organising to protect homes left behind by the over stretched official firefighting crews.
One prominent local firefighter Karl Ashby said “People just rally together, that’s a good thing about a little community”
Local year six school girl Clare expressed apprehension at being evacuated at first, yet proud of her mum who was out out on the firefront “helping everyone”.
More to come…
Source: Video interviews – Audio / Video news crew, Alex Herget & David Abrahams December 8 & 9. Community footage, citations in video.