Living with fire: Phil and Kate’s battle with bushfires

bushfire in mallacoota

RACV Staff

Posted December 09, 2021

Of the scores of people who endured the devastation of the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires, Phil and Kate are just two who witnessed the destruction first-hand.

The couple, who downsized to live in the Mallacoota region, says that during the worst of the fires, “within half an hour, you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. That was the scariest thing.” 

The bushfires that devastated the region made headlines around the world. More than 100 homes were destroyed as thousands flocked to the coastline for safety. Fires came within 100 metres of Phil and Kate’s home, with the couple’s home unscathed only because of a last-minute wind change.

The couple had prepared for the worst, including keeping bushland clear and staying informed. With their home spared from the fires, and with power and water all working, Phil and Kate opened their home to those affected - offering showers, food and drink, and a safe space to come to terms with the devastation around them.

Living With Fire - Kate & Phil


RACV has invested $1 million in solar energy systems for bushfire-prone communities. Those looking for further bushfire recovery can check the Bushfire Recovery Victoria website for further information.