When an aggressive, all-consuming wildfire raged through a small town in Australia, one brave grandmother took safety into her own hands. Accompanied by one photographically-gifted grandfather, Tammy Holmes of Dunalley, Australia, led her family to water while they watched the blaze swallow their home (and many others) whole. In harrowing photos taken by Tammy’s husband Tim, the children cling onto their grandmother under a jetty, where they were protected from smoke, the heat of the fire and flying debris from nearby damage.
“The next thing we knew everything was on fire, everywhere, all around us,” Tim remembers. ”Everything was on fire and it was just exploding all over the place.”
Forced to remain in the water for several hours before the flames subsided, three of the children weren’t able to swim and relied solely on their grandparents and eldest sister to remain above water. The group of seven were finally able to escape when Tim recovered his dinghy and all of the children, free from harm, were reunited with their mother (who had been away at the time the fire began) shortly thereafter. Tammy’s strength, both physical and emotional, likely helped keep her family (and dog) stay afloat during disaster.
Oz-some, indeed! Let’s all throw another shrimp on the barbie for Tammy this weekend, shall we?
Photo courtesy of Tim Holmes