After the Inferno


Text: Nick Sas, Photos: Brendan Esposito - ABC News Australia

19 Jan 2020 – As the smoke begins to clear, we’re seeing for the first time the unimaginable scale of Australia’s worst bushfire season.

In the New South Wales Southern Highlands, about 100km south-west of Sydney, no matter what the season, there has always been one constant: green.

But not anymore.

The ABC was this week given access to an RFS helicopter for a flyover of the region, which has been decimated by the massive Green Wattle Creek and Morton fires.

Homes have been lost.


Sheds, cars and livelihoods have been destroyed.


But, miraculously, homes where flames kissed the gutters were saved.


In some areas, plantations have been protected from the flames like an imaginary wall.

As the smoke gradually lifts after weeks of relentless bushfires, the scope of the destruction is emerging.

With it, new colours — colours not usually seen on a grand scale in the Australian bush — are now commonplace.

This area, just east of Wingello, has been nicknamed “Ground Zero” by firefighters.

The dark blues and charcoal look like an abstract painting, not the bush we’re used to.


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