Mati attempts to rise from the ashes

One year on from the wildfires which claimed the lives of more than one hundred people, Mati is struggling to recover.

The once vibrant tourist centre has turned into something of a ghost town, complete with burnt out abandoned buildings and miles of empty beachfronts.

In addition to the thousands of acres of forest reduced to ashes, the fire also affected the area’s microclimate. This has resulted in higher temperatures and stronger winds.

The fire also highlighted a number of health issues, as many homes were insulated with asbestos materials.

For many, the scars are emotional as well as physical, as they come to grips with losing friends and family members.

The fires have led many locals to fear if the region will ever recover and be the same again.

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