BACK HOME: Linnaeus Estate residents Ian and Peta McDougall go home after spending the night with friends.
BACK HOME: Linnaeus Estate residents Ian and Peta McDougall go home after spending the night with friends. Doug Eaton

Locals return home after fire drama

RESIDENTS were still returning to their homes late yesterday as fire crews worked on controlling a fire that swept through 500ha of scrubland between Lennox Head and Broken Head on Sunday night.

About 60 residents and holiday-makers from Linnaeus Estate, Broken Head Rd and Bundaleer Rd were evacuated on Sunday night, with many arriving to an evacuation centre established at Byron Bay High School.

Peta and Ian McDougall left their property at Linnaeus with their son, his partner and two grandchildren as flames threatened the estate.

"We had finished dinner and we didn't think the fire was anywhere near us," Peta said.

"We got in the car to drive to the lookout and we were told we needed to evacuate.

"We left with what we had in the car - the house was left wide open."

The McDougalls returned to their house yesterday afternoon to find it covered in ash, but otherwise not damaged.

Blackbutt Lane resident Brydie Bilic said she and her partner and two children stayed at their property. "We were at Lake Ainsworth and saw the lightning strike like varicose veins across the sky," Brydie said.



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