Smokey!

Yesterday just seemed to dissolve into a smokey haze so we looked up the Fire Map to check out what was causing it and this is what we saw:

FireMap
Dozens of new fires started from lightning strikes all over the state.  Nothing too immediately threatening to anyone at this stage, but it is hard to imagine how the fire fighters can manage with that many outbreaks!  No wonder there was smoke around!!!!  None of the new fires are terribly close to us at the moment and we are very grateful for that!
However last Monday we had a fire in the mountain pass behind us which was only about 3km from our home.  It was at yellow alert level – Watch and Act – for a little while.  Thankfully there were not many other fires reported at the time and so the fire incident group could hit it with lots of equipment and they managed to get it well contained by Wednesday.  We spent 3 somewhat tense days watching and listening to the helicopters coming and collecting water from the dam next door, then flying just over the hill to drop it onto the fire.  It makes you truly thankful for the fire fighters’ skill and tireless work!
Chopper coming to get water

Chopper coming to get water

Hovering over the dam

Hovering over the dam

Lifting off with a full load

Lifting off with a full load

Nights were the worst as we looked at the glow and listened to the wind and wondered if we would even hear about it if the fire got away again and came down our side of the hill.  We set up a roster of people to stay up and keep and eye on things, just to be on the safe side.

It also meant we made sure to get our fire plan polished up.  Living in the bush as we do with trees far too close to the buildings to be safe in a fire, our plan is to gather up essential items and leave!  If we get stuck, and we might if the fire came from the south, we do have a ploughed paddock this year that we could shelter in or we could go and help the neighbours to protect their own property, but our best plan is to leave and go to Paul’s place in town.  The hardest part would be to leave the pony and house cow – I’m not sure they would understand that the safest thing for them would be to stay in the ploughed paddock.  Thankfully it hasn’t come to that yet, though we did have bags packed and ready just to grab and go!

The terrible fires in Victoria and WA make our smaller ones fade into insignificance though.  It must be incredibly hard for people to lose everything, and some even lost their lives.  It makes me feel very small and powerless.  I just remind myself that my life is in God’s hands and gain or loss, live or die that is actually okay with me.
Hoping that you are all safe and well!
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