Six months on from the beginning of Kangaroo Island’s deadly bushfire crisis, Barry “Hammer” Smith’s home and shed still lie in ruins near Stokes Bay.
Bushfires ripped through almost half the island in December and January, decimating infrastructure, wildlife and terrain, including on the north coast where Mr Smith’s property is located.
A full recovery could take 10 years, according to the island’s Mayor, while most people who lost their homes during the crisis are still a long way off rebuilding.
Despite official claims two weeks ago that all of the more than 450 properties damaged or destroyed had now been cleaned up, Mr Smith said he was still waiting.
He registered for clean-up assistance in January, and has since been told his property will finally be cleared this week.
“Here we are in the middle of June. It is depressing every time you drive in and see all [the] burnt remains still there,” he said.
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