A town in the Australian state of Victoria has been inundated by tumbleweed.
Gardens, homes and garages in Wangaratta have been smothered by the plant, with some homes blocked in by piles more than 6 feet high.
The fast-growing Panicum effusum weed, more commonly known as hairy panic, has been drifting into the town for days. One resident claimed she spent eight hours clearing up the tumbleweed on one day, only to have it return the next.
Hairy panic is native to inland Australia. It is not uncommon in Wangaratta, but this year the dry conditions have produced a bumper crop.
Residents suspect that the tumbleweed is coming from a nearby unmaintained field, but the local council has refused to help homeowners clean it up. Despite its dry, flammable nature, the council does not consider the plant a fire risk.
A spokesman for the local council told The Guardian that it "has very limited capacity to intervene" in the spread of the tumbleweed.
Several Wangaratta residents have posted on Facebook photos of their homes being inundated with the tumbleweed, along with angry demands for the council to do more on their behalf.
This is not the first time that a town has been inundated by tumbleweed. In January 2014 tumbleweed in a town in New Mexico covered homes and blocked streets, and just two months later, towns around Colorado Springs, Colorado, were also swamped. Strong winds brought excessive amounts of the plant debris, causing piles of tumbleweed more than 6 feet high.
In that region of the U.S., tumbleweed comes from the Russian thistle, which is prickly and can scratch skin and even cars.
Al Jazeera and wire services