As Budawang elder, artist and teacher Noel Butler surveys the ruins of his once lush property at Woodburn, he talks about the ferocity of Saturday's firestorm.
"We were well prepared. There was nothing we hadn't done to prepare us for a bushfire that had been raging around us for a couple of months. I had no fear whatsoever of finding something like this," he said, his face etched with exhaustion and shock.
Every structure is destroyed, the house just twisted tin and ash. What was rainforest is now burnt to a crisp, blackened and in places still smouldering.
Noel and his wife Trish had been staying with friends in Mollymook on Saturday.
"We'd had a nor-easterly all day at Mollymook and I knew we had that southerly change coming up."
In the early afternoon when they checked on the property, in the hills west of Ulladulla, the heat was fearsome.
"I don't normally wear shoes - I know where I can and where I can't - and this was like when I used to work in the Kimberley, so hot you couldn't stand on the gravel.
"I wanted to hose down again and Trish said, 'No I feel that we've got to get out'."
It was a decision that likely saved their lives.
Later that night they watched the red glow from Bannisters Point and feared their place was under attack.
They attempted to reach the property on Sunday but had to turn back because downed trees and power lines blocked the road.
They got in touch with their neighbour, who told them to prepare for the worst.
"It was like a bomb site," said Noel.
On Wednesday, the couple returned to put out food and water for the wildlife caught up in the inferno.
It was time also to reflect on the wider causes that have seen the eastern seaboard ablaze, from southern Queensland all the way to Victoria.
"The world has to learn to look after what they've been given for their very existence.
"We've got tree and plant species here that are nowhere else in the world, we've got animals here that are nowhere else in the world.
"Aboriginal people, my mob, have been here 110,000 years. So what was the place like in 1788? We changed the soil, poured fertilisers and chemicals in it to make it do what we wanted it to do. We've destroyed our river systems, we've chopped the trees down and buggered it up."
As he surveyed the ruined landscape, twisted metal and ash, he said it was time the world paid attention.
"I believe this is a really strong lesson, not only for Australia but for the world.
"We've had the little slaps on the face, I believe this is the kick up the arse to say, 'You will listen'."
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