We are no longer surrounded by smoke, we have clean smelling air, I look to our west, north and east and no longer see smoke clouds, it’s a relief. Also last night husband and CFS volunteer was in by 11pm and asleep by 1am, he is currently still in bed – he has had 6 hours of unbroken sleep. That is the longest he has slept for over 4 days, he sleeps and I keep the phone by my side of the bed, the uhf radio in the house kept on the emergency channel has been silent for the same amount of time and no longer are the fire trucks and private vehicles racing up and down our road, it seems we have got the upper hand. PHEW!!!
What is left behind after a crazy fire storm like this is the remnants of ‘normality’. I have in the oven unfinished roasted vegetables which will go to the chooks today. He came home from fighting the fire and just as he was about to head back out the skies burst with rain. The temperature dropped and so did that alertness that we both had been living for the last 3 days and he asked for a roast vegetables and meat for dinner, he has been living on sandwiches and rolls that he has taken as he has run out of the door to get to another fire or nothing at all depending upon the time and location he was fighting a fire.
With the rain came more lightning and a ground strike and fire – it was 6km’s away on a neighbours property. From the start it was all talk of asset management, that is protecting the house, they knew they would lose the paddocks of feed and fencing so the house needs to be saved and off they went, these people, farmers, friends, strangers all working to put out the fire and save what they could. They come from near and far to assist, some have had no sleep in the last 24 hours and others perhaps 2, some are fresh to the cause but they work in unison and as a team putting out a fire.
Now having watched it first hand up close and in the safety of my husbands direction I can appreciate these volunteers more. It doesn’t make me want to go out and become one, it just makes me grateful there are those people who do this, race into fires to assist themselves and each other. I again could see the orange / red glow of the fire from my front door this time it still makes me anxious, not for me I was safe but for all of them out there fighting.
We all know it’s going to be days before the Ngarkat fire goes out and most people (including me) will spend time checking our boundary for spot fires. We know we are lucky we are not under threat any more but there are others who are and some have lost homes and a life was lost in Victoria. Nothing is worth losing your life over, make your plan, tell people your plan and stick with it. Leave, get out of harms way if not for yourself for those brave people out there who have to fight the fire, not try to save your life because you wouldn’t leave. Today I shall put away my fire plan, all our important documents, re display my jewelry and unpack the clothing.
Where’s there’s smoke there was a fire or there is the start of a fire or there is a fire, it’s just different degrees of adrenaline. Never walk away from smoke, kick sand over it, pour water on it or call 000 and report it. Your actions could help save the lives of others, animals and help CFS volunteers know that they are not the only ones on constant look out. This was our flare up yesterday, unbelievable.