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'Nothing to Go Back to but Ash' - New South Wales Man Records Motorcycle Escape From Bushfire

A New South Wales man who lost “everything” in bushfires in early November used a GoPro camera to record his journey out of the smoldering landscape where he once lived.

Ben Hannan was forced to abandon his home in Caparra, close to Wingham, New South Wales, as fires burned on November 8.

He posted footage of the journey away from the flames to Facebook on November 19. The five-minute video sees Hannan pass by flames and a smoking landscape, as well as avoiding obstacles and talking with others escaping the area along the road.

“We’ve lost everything,” he tells one passer-by. Other heartbreaking commentary includes the moment he points to the area where a friend’s home once stood, as well as looking back where he came from and saying, “My house is up there… used to be.”

Speaking to Storyful, Hannan said the footage shows him “fleeing as the family farm burns.” His mother drove ahead of him with “3 of 4 cats,” with Hannan saying that the car, cats and his bike were “all we saved.”

“I’d moved home six years ago after dad died so mum didn’t have to leave our home. Two days after all 130 acres, two homes and 90 percent of our animals burned was the anniversary of his death. It’s not home anymore. We’ve nothing to go back to but ash.”

As the footage comes to a close with Hannan moving a tree off the road to allow a car to move past, he comments aloud, “What did you do on your day off? I dunno, watched the whole f***ing world burn.”

A GoFundMe to help Hannan and his mother, Irene, was set up on November 8, raising 4,700 Australian dollars at the time of writing, with the initial target being $2,000. Credit: Ben Hannan via Storyful