On New Years Eve, in the early hours of the morning, the devastating and out of control East Gippsland bushfires would reach James and Kara Joiner’s North Betebelong property, leaving nothing in it’s wake.
As the fire, so ferocious it would later be described by the media as a fire storm, roared toward their home it created a wind so severe it ripped the roof off their home and sheds before it was upon them.
“The fire created its own storm and we had such gusts of wind our verandah and roof fell off as spot fires were happening, all within 2 minutes of us seeing the flames,” Kara has described.
It was hopeless trying to fight. They were forced to flee as their verandah started falling in around them; driving through flames and over burning trees that came down across their driveway, to take cover in a dam with their neighbour and surrounding wildlife.
From a distance, cloaked in wet blankets in their car by the dam, aircon blasting, James and Kara Joiner watched as their family home burned. “strong winds were almost ripping our car over... and upon leaving we only managed to save one of our dogs...” Kara has said of the harrowing wait for the fire to pass.
A few hours later, nothing was left. Not their house, their belongings, their sheds, their work equipment, their pets. In the space of a single night they lost their home, their livelihood, and a piece of their hearts.
Days after the fact; the devastating loss is still sinking in as livestock continues to be lost, and the enormity of what needs rebuilding and recovering sinks in. With your help, donations big or small, we can ease the way for this hardworking family.