Saturday, February 1, 2014

Now it's getting personal...


Hmmm. You know those bushfires that I've been mentioning??? Well, it's now getting personal...

This week we've had four days that have started with fighting fires on our road. It's not a coincidence. And it's not distant. First the fires were silly little things that got squashed quickly by our local brigade. But as the week went on and it got hotter, the fire lighting got smarter (or dumber depending on your sense of responsibility).

Yesterday, by late morning, there were four fires lit along our road. All beside the road. Within throwing distance of a car. The closest to town was in front of our neighbours gate (he lives in town), a kilometre or so as the crow flies from our farm house. The next one was about five kilometres north of us, again on the roadside. The third was at the base of terribly windy hill road and the last was lit in the common close to a little historical village another five kilometres on. Nasty stuff. The last fire near the village threatened homes and people.

All the local fire fighters are still up there this morning in orange overalls manning water tankers and mopping up the last of it. The helicopters and planes were a constant buzz yesterday as they dumped load after load of water on the fire. Today those of us at home are relieved. Yesterday, with a hot temperatures and strong winds, we were on high alert. And we weren't in the path of the fire. I can only imagine what those villagers were feeling.

Why? Oh why? Why would you threaten people and homes, bushland and farms, with a fire? Awful stuff.

It feels quite personal. We're wary of cars travelling along the road. We're grateful to our fire services. We'd like to know there will be no more fires. But for now the water backpack sits beside the back door and we're glad the choppers are still flying buckets of water over us. Quite an awakening for this town girl...

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