Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fire Season is here.


It's Spring here in Australia. For those of us who live in or near the bush, that means burning off and making sure essential firebreaks are done.

Here in our little neck of the woods, DEC (Department of Environment and Conservation) have been burning off. The picture above is taken from the front of my property looking across the road. What you can see are clouds of smoke a few days after a burn. Not fluffy white clouds.

Clouds of smoke.

There's been a lot of controversy from those that live in the city, an hour and a half drive from where we live. See, the smoke tends to drift toward the city and people there don't like it.

Not that I blame them. But in all honesty, I'd much prefer to have people complain about a little smoke than have our town wiped out, AGAIN.

In 1961, our town was almost completely razed by fire. Several smaller towns were completely destroyed and were never rebuilt.

Dozens were left homeless with only the clothes on their backs.

Almost three years ago another fire raged and threatened our town. It came within 100 metres of my home. My next door neighbour stayed and fought with my husband while our son and I left. Derek had been through the 1961 fire as a small boy and his family lost everything.

Sixteen houses in our area were lost as well as countless animals. Thankfully no lives were lost, though one of our friends came close to dying. Stories of heroism abound, a boy who was thought to have died had hid in his house. His feet were badly burnt when he ran down the road after the fire had passed. A helicopter dropped water on a house at the last minute, saving it completely.

I stood on the side of the road with a large number of people, all of us crying and praying while we watched the landscape glow from the bush fire. One farmer was told he'd lost every single animal on his farm. To remember his devastated face still brings tears today. He'd lost his livelihood. The next day we had to show driver's licenses to prove we lived there before any of us were allowed back in.

Looters love to strike while you're down.

My son and I drove down the road the next day toward our house not knowing what to expect. Hubby's mobile phone had died and there was no way to contact him. Emergency service personnel told me no one was left in there. I knew both hubby and Derek were there, or at least I prayed they were.

Both sides of the road looked like a blackened moonscape. Smouldering piles of ash was all that was left of hundreds of acres of bush.As we rounded the bend tears of gratitude flowed down both our faces.

Our property was untouched.

The fire had split in two and gone around it on completely. Amazing hand of God.


Andrea said... [Reply to comment]

Blessings and prayers,



Post a Comment