MERIMBULA (Australia) – The afternoon smoke is stifling and 16 of us shelter inside, with all windows and doors firmly shut. The visibility plummets to 10m and the blanketing smoke turns the air an ominous blood-red.

I wonder if this is what hell looks like, when suddenly things get worse. It takes 10 minutes for smoke to completely obliterate the sun and the world outside is gone. We are wrapped in oppressive and comprehensive darkness.

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