This satellite image was capture about 48 hours after the backburn was ignited.

It shows the main fire front still more than 15km away from communities. Large parts of the fire-front have quietened down - and begs the question:

Why did the backburn need to proceed in very high fire danger when the threat wasn't imminent?

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Welcome to ground zero...

...of one the most destructive bushfires to impact the Blue Mountains in recent memory.

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It took the backburn less than a week to spread through tens of thousands of hectares of bushland.

Background Image: Artist Nina Lipscome

By the time the blaze was contained, it had burnt through an estimated 60,000 hectares of bushland across the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury areas.

Despite the staggering scale of the fire, the RFS is yet to acknowledge the full scale of the burnt area or the total number of buildings destroyed.

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According to the NSW Rural Fire Service

This fire still does not exist

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But those who were on the fireground know a different story.

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A story of the worst bushfire to hit some communities for decades, with more than 40 homes and businesses burnt to the ground.

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Vast sections of the World Heritage Blue Mountains were effected by the out of control backburn . Many areas suffered intense and catastrophic fire damage.

Source:BMWH Fire Mapping by Aaron Greenville

Scars that will take decades to fade away.

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