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Dublin: 5°C Saturday 19 June 2021

PICS: Family jumps in sea to shelter from raging wildfires

The Holmes family had to shelter under a jetty to escape from the sweltering heat and flames, as wildfires raged around them.

THEIR FACES SAY it all. The fear and shock is palpable as this family is forced to take shelter from intense wildfires under a jetty.

These photographs of the Holmes family were taken by Tim Holmes, and show Tammy Holmes, second from left, and her grandchildren, Charlotte Walker (2), left, Esther Walker (4), third from left, Liam Walker (9), Matilda (11), second from right, and Caleb Walker (6), right, on 4 January.

They were forced to enter the water under a jetty as a wildfire raged nearby in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, east of the state capital of Hobart, Australia.

The family credits God with their survival from the fire that destroyed around 90 homes in Dunalley.

(AP Photo/Holmes Family, Tim Holmes)

(AP Photo/Holmes Family, Tim Holmes)

(AP Photo/Holmes Family, Tim Holmes)

(AP Photo/Holmes Family, Tim Holmes)

Tim Holmes fled his burning home near Dunalley on Friday with his wife Tammy and five grandchildren, aged 2 to 11, and took shelter in the sea beneath a wooden jetty.

“The difficulty was there was so much smoke and embers and there was probably 200 millimeters to 300 millimeters (8 to 12 inches) of air above the water,” Holmes told Australian Broadcasting Corporation television on Monday.

So we were all just heads; water up to our chins just trying to breathe because it was just — the atmosphere was so incredibly toxic.

Australia has seen record temperatures rage across southern Australia for the past few weeks, but they cooled today, which helped in fighting wildfires.

The hottest day on record was Monday, with a nationwide average of 40.33 degrees Celsius, narrowly breaking a 1972 record of 40.17 C. Four of Australia’s hottest 10 days on record have been in 2013.

Read: Cooler weather aids Australia firefighters>

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