POLICE investigating the burnt East Coast settlement of Courland Bay yesterday described the devastated area as a ``moonscape''.
Courland Bay, also known as Half Moon Bay, is a settlement with seven properties about eight kilometres south of Bicheno that fronts the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by the Freycinet National Park.
Glamorgan-Spring Bay Mayor Bertrand Cadart described the settlement as a beautiful spot with no crowds that has just paid a terrible price for that isolation.
The beachfront settlement was in the direct path of Friday's intense East Coast fire and much of it is now a smouldering ruin.
Police Senior Constable Glenn Stewart and Tasmania Fire Service investigator Craig Maxwell finished their investigation of the scene yesterday afternoon and were then due to investigate the nearby camping area of Butlers Point, an area also devastated by Friday's fires.
Senior Constable Stewart said the settlement had seven land titles with about 15 structures, ranging from houses to sheds, on those blocks.
He said accommodation there had varied from some people apparently living in sheds to a house that was ``absolutely palatial''.
Four houses and three sheds were destroyed and only three of about 10 cars are still intact.
Three boat trailers and two dinghies were also destroyed.
``It looks like a moonscape,'' Senior Constable Stewart said.
``The vegetation is destroyed and houses are completely levelled.
``For some of them, there is nothing but roofing iron lying on top of the ground, that is it.
``It looked like it was extremely hot.''
Senior Constable Stewart said the single unsealed road to the settlement was blocked in many places by fallen trees and a bulldozer was needed to clear the way.
He said the area was smoky with many spot fires still burning, so it could be days before the road was opened to the public. But he said residents would be allowed in before the general public.
Senior Constable Stewart said that the fire was started by a lightning strike, there were no suspicious circumstances and that everyone was accounted for.