Liz Sarchette spent the night of the Nymboida fire wearing a life jacket for a very good reason.
Liz Sarchette spent the night of the Nymboida fire wearing a life jacket for a very good reason.

Resident tells why she wore a life jacket to a fire

NYMBOIDA resident Liz Sarchette had a good reason for wearing a life jacket as one of the worst fires in the Clarence Valley’s history bore down on her village.

“I had told all my family and friends that if they couldn’t find me to look in the river,” she said.

“That’s what I was going to do if the fire cut me off from everyone. I was going to jump in and stay there.”

Liz and friend Kat Schyndell decided were watching the fire approach as an apocalyptic darkness fell on the region as smoke blotted out the sun.

“It was about 7.30pm and we were at the Coaching Station watching the fire coming closer and the embers flying ahead of it,” Ms Sarchette said.

“A fire truck came past and this bloke said ‘you can’t stay here, come with us’.

“We followed them down to the bridge going out of town in our cars and we found a group of people sheltering there.

“The fireys told us it was our best hope to find shelter as the fire was coming from all directions.”

She said the group turned their cars around so they could drive straight out in an emergency, then bunkered down to wait out the fire.

“There were six of us there,” Ms Schyndell said. “We waited there, but no-one came to talk to us or tell us what to do.

“The fire came along the opposite river bank. At one stage it was just metres from us.”

The group were relieved when eventually three fire trucks and the SES arrived to tell them the fire front had passed.

“They said the fire had passed, but the danger was not over,” Ms Sarchette said.