Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull toured the fire-ravaged Victorian Wye River region on Tuesday (December 29) after 116 homes were lost in a Christmas day blaze.
Accompanied by his wife Lucy, the prime minister thanked members of the Country Fire Authority who helped defend properties from the fire that saw no lives lost. Turnbull said he was inspired by the selfless service of the community.
The area is one of Australia’s leading tourist areas.
This is a case of a community that put individuals and the service of the whole community ahead of their own self interests knowing that everybody was working for a common objective, and that was to mitigate, to limit the loss of property, but above all to ensure that there was no loss of life and they did that magnificently.
However, authorities said the number of properties lost in the Christmas day bush fire along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road has risen to 116. Adding that 98 homes were destroyed at Wye River, while 18 were lost at Separation Creek. Fire officials said majority of the properties lost were holiday homes.
Victoria Premier, Daniel Andrews, who flew over to the fire zone said the losses were significant.
'They have made me so proud' Firefighters proud of efforts to save Victorian towns near Wye River https://t.co/bMyj2FDXcn— SBS News (@SBSNews) December 27, 2015
“It was kind of confirmed for us just how hot, just how volatile, just how intense this fire was, burning right to the water’s edge”
He announced that Government grants of $1,300 will be made available to those who have lost their homes or are unable to return home.