January 19, 2021

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Bushfire victim on phone with brother when line cut out

2 min read
<p>A 59-year-old man has been identified as the latest victim in the Australian bushfire crisis after flames tore through his property on the New South Wales south coast.</p>

A 59-year-old man has been identified as the latest victim in the Australian bushfire crisis after flames tore through his property on the New South Wales south coast.

Michael Clarke was home inside his remote bushland property on Bombo Road in Bodalla, southwest of the town of Moruya, on Thursday afternoon when a fire ripped through the area.

One neighbour told 9News he was contacted by Mr Clarke's brother on Thursday afternoon after the phone line had gone dead during a conversation between the siblings.

The neighbour said moments before the line went dead, Mr Clarke told his brother the shed on his property was on fire.

Within the hour fire had raced up the gully and surrounded Mr Clarke's property.

https://twitter.com/NSWRFS/status/1220330941425561607?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Police yesterday morning located human remains inside what's believed to be the shower of the bushland property. He is survived by his brother and sister.

"Mick was a great guy. My son thought he was Australia epitomised. He was a good guy," Robert Eder, Mr Clarke's neighbour, said.

At midnight, there were 73 bush and grass fires burning across NSW with 30 not yet contained.

No fires are at emergency warning, with the Clyde Mountain Fire, Countegany fire and the Good Good fire at Watch and Act due to the continuing threat. Conditions are expected to ease tomorrow following a cool change.

The Clyde Mountain Fire has destroyed more than 90,000 hectares near Moruya.

The Countegany fire, south of Moruya, has burned more than 260,000 hectares.

Mr Clarke's death brings the death toll in the bushfire crisis to 33, with 25 people killed in NSW.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/australia-fires-south-coast-bushfire-victim-identified/adb69d60-1f91-43e2-a42c-80bb5601960e

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