News Release

Communities Rally as Fires Threaten Tasmanian Homes


Residents of the Huon Valley, south of Hobart, Tasmania have been rallying together to battle extensive bush fires and protect communities.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who live in the area have been working tirelessly with fire crews, volunteers and neighbours to defend property.

Church missionaries are assisting at the evacuation centre, alongside Red Cross and Salvation Army workers.

And people are looking heavenward for help.

“So many people are praying,” says Louella Jury, a Glen Huon resident.

“People who don’t believe in God are praying and miracles are happening.”

The smoke is so thick residents can’t see where the fire is burning but it doesn’t obscure their recognition of the miracles of homes being saved.

Tamara Tucker describes her family's experience.

“Being on a 'watch and act' warning meant that we had some time to prepare for a possible evacuation. Once that time came, we were given 10 minutes to leave our home. Thankfully, we were able to respond right away."

She continues, "With the kids in the car, I took a last walk through our home. As I did so I experienced an overwhelming feeling of peace. I knew that whatever happened, our needs would be met and my family would be fine."

Firemen acknowledged the miracle of a preserved home in Judbury where plantation fires have burned on all three sides but not the home itself.

Tamara's family was evacuated for 10 days and came very close to losing their home twice.

Though misplaced temporarily, she says, "I trusted those earlier feelings, was willing to accept whatever might come and was blessed with an assurance that all was well. There is nothing to compare with the feeling of true peace that can only come from a loving Heavenly Father.”

Louella Jury comments, “Though the fire is destroying our pristine heritage landscape, it will one day renew.

She adds, “People’s faith is renewed as they see the miracles and the reviving of human kindness and connectedness.”

For more information from ABC News about the fire, click here

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