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Vic: Bushfire razes beautiful Marysville

By Greg Rule
08 Feb 2009 12:41 PM

MELBOURNE, Feb 8 AAP - On the crispest of winter days, the resort village of Marysville, northeast of Melbourne, becomes blanketed in a gentle cover of snow.

Businesses renting out skis and toboggans rush to put out their shingles as they announce to visitors that there is oodles more of the white stuff up at nearby Lake Mountain.

The snow does little to dull the clatter of hammers on half-built holiday and retirement homes in Marysville.

Scattered across the idyllic township of less than 1,000 permanent residents, they offer dreams to those seeking escape from the city grind.

In Marysville's east is Bruno's Art and Sculpture Garden where South American-born, European-raised Bruno Torf welcomes visitors to his fantastic figures from fairytales and beyond. Lovingly hand carved from the many woods and adorned with bric a brac of the area, they are decades in the making.

That is in winter.

In summer, Marysville swelters in cloying heat as tinderbox eucalypts lap at the village's rooftops.

According to the latest reports, Marysville is a heartbreaking smoking ruin.

There is barely a building standing as the village's residents gather in Gallipoli Park, from where they will be escorted out of the town and away from their dreams.