A wildfire rages at Lake Conjola, Australia, on Thursday. The town was devastated when a blaze ripped through on New Year’s Eve, and it faces a new threat this weekend as weather conditions worsen. (Robert Oerlemans/AP)

After no news for three days, Anthony Brennan feared his older brother had perished in a wildfire that turned this bucolic coastal village into a scene of random destruction.


A house gutted by wildfires in the town of Lake Conjola this week. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

'What can we do?'


A house and vehicle destroyed by bush fires at Lake Conjola on Jan. 1. At least eight people have been killed in Australia’s wildfires this week. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

A bleak new year


Boats are pulled ashore as smoke and wildfires rage behind Lake Conjola on Thursday. The town’s residents have been warned to brace for catastrophic fire conditions on Saturday. (Robert Oerlemans/AP)