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Dangerous bushfire smog stifles Melbourne as smoke threatens to stop playing at the Australian Open

The national death toll in the 2019/2020 bushfire season in Australia was 27 from Monday, January 13, with 20 confirmed deaths in New South Wales, three in South Australia and four in Victoria.

OCTOBER

New South Wales:

Robert Lindsey, 77, and Gwen Hyde, 68, were found on October 9 in their burnt-out Coongbar home near Casino.

November

New South Wales:

The body of 85-year-old George Nole was found in a burnt-out car near his home in Wytaliba, near Glen Innes.

Vivian Chaplain, a 69-year-old woman from Wytaliba, succumbed to her injuries in the hospital after a unsuccessful attempt to save her house and animals from the fire.

The body of 63-year-old Julie Fletcher was pulled from a scorched building in Johns River, north of Taree.

Barry Parsons, 58, was found in a barn in Willawarrin, near Kempsey.

Chris Savva, 64, died after his 4WD was dropped at the burned-out South Arm bridge, at Nambucca Heads.

A 59-year-old man was sheltered in a Yarrowitch water tank on November 7. He died of injuries on December 29.

DECEMBER

New South Wales:

Firefighters Andrew O’Dwyer, 36, and Geoffrey Keaton, 32, died on December 19 after a tree fell on their truck as they traveled through Buxton, south of Sydney.

28-year-old Samuel McPaul fought a fire in Jingellic, in Green Valley, about 70 km east of Albury, on the border of NSW and Victoria, on December 30, when a ‘fire tornado’ rolled his 10-ton fire truck.

South Australia:

The body of 69-year-old Ron Selth was found in his home in Charleston, which was destroyed on December 21 by the eruption of Cudlee Creek.

NEW YEAR’S EVENING BURNS

New South Wales:

Dairy farmer Patrick Salway (29) and his father Robert (63) died on December 31 to save their property in Cobargo, near Bega.

A 70-year-old man, named Laurie Andrew by local media, was found dead outside a home in Yatte Yattah, west of Lake Conjola.

The body of a 70-year-old man was found in a burned vehicle on a road along the Princes Highway in Yatte Yattah on New Year’s Day morning.

The body of a 62-year-old man was found around 11.30 am on New Year’s Day in a vehicle on Wandra Road in Sussex Inlet.

A body, presumably a 56-year-old man, was found on New Year’s Day outside a house in Coolagolite, east of Cobargo.

An off-duty RFS fireman, believed to be 72-year-old Colin Burns, was found near a car in Belowra after the New Year’s fires broke through.

Victoria:

Beloved great-grandfather Mick Roberts, 67, from Buchan, in East Gippsland, was found dead in his home on New Year’s Day morning.

Fred Becker, 75, was the second person to die in Victoria. He had a heart attack while trying to defend his home in Maramingo Creek.

JANUARY

New South Wales:

David Harrison, a 47-year-old man from Canberra, suffered a heart attack on Saturday, January 4, to defend his friend’s home near Batlow.

A 71-year-old man was found on January 6. The police were told that the man was last seen on December 31, 2019 and moved equipment on his property in Nerrigundah.

Victoria:

Forest Fire Management firefighter Mat Kavanagh, 43, died on Friday, January 3 when he was involved in a two-car accident on the Goulburn Valley Highway.

Bill Slade, a 60-year-old father of two from Wonthaggi, fought fire with Park Victoria in Omeo when he died on January 11. He was remembered as one of the longest serving, most experienced and strongest firefighters.

South Australia:

Well-known outback pilot Dick Lang, 78, and his 43-year-old son, Adelaide surgeon Clayton Lang, died in the Kangaroo Island bushfire after their car was locked up in flames.

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