Ex-Potters Bar teacher caught up in Australia inferno
A FORMER Potters Bar teacher living just miles from Australia's worst-ever bush fires said conditions were 'comparable to the end of the world'. James King, who lived and taught in the town 10 years ago, spoke to the BBC about the horrific scenes in the s
A FORMER Potters Bar teacher living just miles from Australia's worst-ever bush fires said conditions were "comparable to the end of the world".
James King, who lived and taught in the town 10 years ago, spoke to the BBC about the horrific scenes in the state of Victoria, where at least 180 people have died.
The former Mount Grace teacher, who now lives in Melbourne, said: "I knew something was not right.
"The sky went crimson with ash and I could smell all the smoke in the atmosphere.
You may also want to watch:
"It was like a thick, dense, dirty fog. There was smoke everywhere.
"It looked like Armageddon or something from a horror movie.
- 1 Headteacher 'very proud' of 'healthy and balanced' free school meal hampers
- 2 GP practice vaccinated 1,000 people in first week
- 3 Police appeal for public information after puppy found dead on A414
- 4 'Heavy snow' expected across Hertfordshire from tomorrow
- 5 Two people rescued after flood warnings issued
- 6 Knife reportedly used to rob man in his 20s outside Co-op ATM
- 7 Is lockdown working in Herts? Here's what the latest data tells us
- 8 Party organiser fined £10,000 after 150 people attend gathering
- 9 Officer injured and music equipment and alcohol seized after party
- 10 New lease of life for shop in historic Old Hatfield
"I hope I never experience anything like that again."
Temperatures hit 47C last week, combined with Australia's biggest drought for a century.
The 34-year-old told BBC News: "The day started warm and then increased and increased until it was really terrible. With the winds as well it's like standing in a convection oven.
"In heat like that there is nothing you can do; you feel like you are melting.
"It takes your breath away."
Mr King, whose home is just 30 miles from the devastation, added: "In the afternoon the temperature dropped quickly. I have never experienced anything like it.
"It went from 46C to 26C in minutes. I have no idea what caused it."
When it was finally cool enough for James to talk with his neighbours, he said their mood was very low.
"People are feeling a great sadness and empathy," he said, "and frustration with not being able to do anything about it.
"Arson is suspected so there is also a lot of anger at those who started the fire, and the feeling that the government is not doing enough.
"The government has given people A$10,000 to start rebuilding.
"But with prices of land around here that is nothing.