Iconic Photo Emerges as Aussie Fires Rage
Flames approach military bomb range
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 10, 2013 4:13 AM CST
In this Jan. 4, 2013 photo, a building burns near a jetty where Tim and Tammy Holmes attempt to shelter their five grandchildren.   (AP Photo/Holmes Family, Tim Holmes)

(Newser) – As wildfires tear through southeastern Australia, one family survived a near-death experience—and snapped photos in the process. Tim and Tammy Holmes were babysitting five grandkids when flames conquered their Tasmanian town, forcing them to take refuge under a jetty. Tim caught a stunning image of Tammy holding two grandchildren, ages two and four, while three others, none older than 11, held on nearby, the Guardian reports. Three of the kids couldn't swim.

"We saw tornadoes of fire just coming across toward us and the next thing we knew everything was on fire," Tim told the Australian ABC News. At the jetty, "there was only about probably 200 to 300 millimeters of air above the water. So we were all just heads, water up to our chins, just trying to breathe." Meanwhile, flames are drawing near a former military bombing range, where plenty of unexploded bombs remain, the BBC reports. Firefighters believe they'll be able to stop the blaze before it hits the area. Monday was Australia's hottest day ever, at a national average of 104.59 degrees, the Guardian adds. The country is now so hot its weather map can't keep up.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Jan 10, 2013 12:20 PM CST
Thanks newser for continuing coverage of the horrendous effects of the world wide climate catastrophe -- this is merely a preview of what is to come as the chickens come home to roost for our benighted civilization. Future generations (if there are any) will curse us for knowingly allowing this to happen. We were warned. We should have seen this coming. It's basic science and common sense.
Jan 10, 2013 8:42 AM CST
Time for the U.S. to offer help to a close friend and ally. Hotshot crews and air tankers, right now.
Jan 10, 2013 8:25 AM CST
I was in Tasmania in '88 and went to Hobart and the old prison in Port Arthur where they used to send the English prisoners. It was a beautiful area. I wish these people well and I hope their dog made it as well.