Then and now: ‘Our whole coast is gone’
Josh Burkinshaw is in mourning. The 37-year-old locksmith and photographer has been capturing the stunning landscape around Batemans Bay for years.
Now he's documenting its devastation and his images of forests and headlands at Depot Beach before the fires and in their aftermath reveal what has been lost.
"The devastation is catastrophic," he said.
"The areas we thought would never burn have burned … Out at Depot its burned to a cinder, Batemans Bay is burned to a cinder. That same fire went all the way to Sussex Inlet. Our whole coastline's gone.
"That's the scary thing, when it going to end? The fires are wearing on everyone. Mentally it's wearing everyone down, even those whose houses haven't burned down."
Mr Burkinshaw said his mates' houses burned down during the horrific New Year's Eve fires.
"I've grown up here and lived here all my life. Mother nature will take its course and it will regrow it's just a matter of time, but for now we need to look after wildlife and people and stick together."
* Proceeds from sales of Josh Burkinshaw's photography between now and Tuesday go to the local RFS and Wires. For more details, visit joshburkinshawimages.com.au