Keith Urban: 'California fire disaster brings back awful childhood memories'

Keith Urban can sympathise with fellow Australian Liam Hemsworth and the other Malibu locals who lost their homes in the Woolsey wildfire over the weekend, because his house burned down when he was a kid.

The country star was among those paying tribute to the California blaze victims at the CMA Awards in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday night (14Nov18), and he tells Extra he knows exactly what the kids who have lost everything are going through.

"When I was 10 our house burned down, so I know that feeling of losing your house," he explains, revealing he was at school when his home was destroyed. "We completely lost everything. Luckily we were all OK.

"When you're walking through the house and it's just charred and black as black everywhere you look and there's water still dripping everywhere and the firemen have left... and I remember thinking, 'I was just in here this morning getting ready for school and now it's just...' It still gives me chills."

And now it's his turn to rally around fire victims, just as the community helped him and his family when he was a kid.

"I'm literally helping out one of my friends out there (in California) get back on their feet...," he adds. "What I remember is the community coming together in such an incredible way... and not just the Goodwills and the Salvation Armys and the Red Crosses, which also came to our aid, but also the community with clothing and food and shelter and a place to stay - unbelievable. And you're seeing it out in California right now. It's really amazing."

The home Hemsworth shared with his fiancee Miley Cyrus in Malibu was destroyed by the fire, as were pads owned by Neil Young, Gerard Butler, and Robin Thicke.

The Woolsey Fire ripped through over 98,000 acres and is still less than 60 per cent contained, a week after it began in Thousand Oaks. There were two other major wildfires that impacted the state over the weekend, including the Camp Fire in Northern California, which wiped out the town of Paradise and has been categorised as the worst blaze-related disaster in California history.

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