Breathtaking images: Grandfather Tim Holmes took these harrowing photos of his five grandkids escaping the wildfires because he feared their parents 'would never see them again.'
Tammy Holmes shelters her grandchildren Charlotte Walker, 2, Esther Walker, 4, Liam Walker, 9, Matilda, 11, and Caleb Walker, 6, under a jetty as a wildfire rages nearby in Dunalley, Australia, Jan. 4, 2013. This photo was taken by Tammy Holme's husband Tim Holmes.As I look at these photos, my brain keeps playing "the children are our future." I'm scared for the planet, and ashamed I haven't been louder in my calls for action.
Photo by Tim Holmes, via: Time
"We saw tornadoes of fire just coming across towards us and the next thing we knew everything was on fire, everywhere all around us," Tim Holmes told Australia's ABC News. "We lost three houses and by that time I had sent Tammy … with the children to get down to the jetty because there was no other escape. We couldn't get off.
"I ended up having to run down through a wooded area on my own, where there was so much smoke and fire, I didn't know where I was. So I just kept running. There was a moment of fear that this could be very, very dangerous. But I managed to run through and get to the water's edge, which was a kind of a sanctuary."
Mr Holmes told how he sent his wife, their grandchildren and pet dog Polly to the nearby sea jetty when he saw smoke from the looming wildfire rise from a nearby ridge.
'For the next two-and-a-half hours, we huddled under the jetty as the fire intensified and produced a plume of smoke, ash and debris that left us with very little oxygen.
'There were times when we had to move out deeper because it was too hot and there were times when the jetty itself caught fire. I was able to scoop some water onto the jetty and put it out.'
From the Guardian:From Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard:
Australia had its hottest day on record on Monday with a nationwide average of 40.33C (104.59 F), narrowly breaking a 1972 record of 40.17C (104.31 F). Tuesday was the third hottest day at 40.11C (104.2F). Four of Australia's hottest 10 days on record have been in 2013.
"There's little doubt that this is a very, very extreme heatwave event," said David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.
"If you look at its extent, its duration, its intensity, it is arguably the most significant in Australia's history."
To help victims of the Tasmanian bushfires, please consider donating to the Red Cross: ow.ly/gAyP8 TeamJG— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) January 7, 2013
FYI: All photos were released by Tim Holmes for editorial use.