Lunenburg resident worries for family fleeing Australian wildfires
Speed of fire surprised Kathryn Moore's mother, forcing her to run shortly before her house burned down
A Nova Scotia woman has had an anxious week watching the Australian wildfires force family members to flee their homes, leaving some animals to fend for themselves.
Kathryn Moore's mother, Julie, lives near a small town called Quaama in New South Wales. The town is about 250 kilometres southeast of Canberra.
"She had to evacuate her farm with two horses on the back of a truck. She had to leave one behind, hoping she'd be able to go back and get the third horse," Moore told CBC News Thursday from her home in Lunenburg.
"It definitely happened faster than they thought [it would]. It's just so dry there right now that things are moving unpredictably."
Her mother has moved from town to town several times since fleeing her own home as people try to outpace the fires.
Thousands of people have fled summer wildfires burning in New South Wales, Victoria and other parts of Australia. More than 1,400 homes have been destroyed and at least 17 people have died.
Moore's mother was one of those who lost her home. Kathryn Moore said her brothers went back to the home when it was safe.
"The house is completely gone," she said. "There's not much left out there."
The horse, named Hamish, somehow survived the fire, but was badly hurt and had to be put down. Chickens kept on the property also died. Two water tanks were melted by the fire and her mother lost everything left in the house. Her brothers said 14 houses burned down in Quaama.
"She said she needed all new clothes anyway," her daughter said with a laugh.
Brother planning to 'defend the house'
Kathryn Moore said her mother had recently bought a fire pump to douse wildfires and detected little wind only a few days ago. Everything seemed safe, but the fire changed course and scorched her property.
Her brother's house is now in the line of fire. "He's planning to stay and defend the house. The rest of his family is going to Canberra," she said. "It's a pretty worrisome time for sure."
Other family members are preparing their homes as best they can while also getting ready to flee if they need to.
Moore, who made headlines last year as part of an all-female lobster fishing crew, said friends are helping her launch an online fundraiser to help her family back in Australia.
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