A WOMAN from Worcester has described her and her husband’s experience of living in Australia during recent devastating bush fires.

Hannah Tunstall, 25 moved to Gosford in Australia to be with her husband, Nick Jones, in November 2018. They are just 15 miles away from one of the blazing fires.

Mrs Tunstall said: “We are fortunate enough to be living far away enough that we don’t need to evacuate, but it’s still a bit scary knowing they’re just 15 miles from where we live, and only being stopped by a river.

“The smoke that’s been accumulating and coming east has been awful.

“On the worst days, you can see ash floating down.

“Nick gets sore eyes from it all.”

“I’ve been bringing up a lot of phlegm to the point where Nick had to get me a mask I can wear on the smoky days when I walk to work.

“I definitely feel for those with asthma or breathing problems.

“Luckily we haven’t had a bad smoke day recently but, because it’s summer, everyone’s got their arms and legs out.

“After walking around in the smoke and dust you can feel it all over your skin, it’s kind of hard to explain but you just feel desperate to be clean!”

A record-breaking area of land has been burned in New South Wales this bushfire season, according to the latest figures released by the Rural Fire Service.

A total of 4.9m hectares – an area larger than Denmark – has been destroyed in the state during the nationwide fire crisis.

At least 25 people have been killed, including three volunteer firefighters, and thousands of homes destroyed.

MP for the south coast, Andrew Constance, said: “’I’ve got to be honest with you, this isn’t a bushfire it’s an atomic bomb. It’s indescribable the hell and the devastation it’s caused.”

Power cuts hit 15,000 people in Sydney over the weekend and more than 300 fires are still ravaging the parched land nation-wide.

Mrs Tunstall continued: “My brother-in-law is a fire fighter and has been regularly fighting fires up and down the coast.

“We’re all so grateful for all the fire fighters and volunteers. We worry about him a lot, but he and his team are professionals and we’re all so proud that he’s out there saving lives and homes. If people feel inclined to help, they can donate to services like RFS.”

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is a combat agency for bush fires and widely acknowledged as the largest volunteer fire service in the world.

Members are trained to very high levels of competence to ensure they know what to do in an emergency and the service aims to reduce the likelihood and consequence of fires occurring.

Many high-profile celebrities, athletes and politicians have taken to social media to call for help and donations; singer Pink and actress Nicole Kidman have both given $500,000 each to the Australian rural firefighters.

Comedian Celeste Barber launched a Facebook fundraiser on Friday and raised more than $10 million in 24 hours, with money going directly to the NSW Rural Fire Service and Brigades Donations Fund.

The Red Cross volunteers have also stepped up to provide aid and comfort to people in need. The emergency teams have welcomed families fleeing from the fires in more than 69 evacuation and recovery centres across Australia

To donate visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and www.redcross.org.uk