Summer has taken its toll of a lot of the people and animals this year. I’m sure ours hasn’t been has hot as the top half of Australia, but it’s been a stinker compared to what we are used to. Our hottest day was 48 degrees.
We had about six catastrophic fire dangers issued and the sea breeze, which is usually a certain in Esperance, has been quite non-existent! When I first moved here we would use a doona every night, but not this year. The fan has become a permanent fixture in our room.
Last Saturday there were quite a few thunderstorms around. I sat outside and watched the lightening hit the ground while Anthony was in his ute with the fire cart hooked on, waiting and watching. It was only a matter of time.
The long, hot, dry six months has made the bush tinder dry. The feed in the paddocks is a sun-bleached white, we have dry dams for the third year in a row and we’re feeding hay to the cattle every second day. It’s time consuming and, after a while, disheartening. After two very dry years, we are hoping this year is going a really wet one.
The fire that started in the bush near the coast burnt for a week and the farmers, along with FESA, were put on a roster-system to keep an eye on it. The graders and dozers worked overtime, pushing fire breaks around the edge of the bush to protect the farming land, while the fire-fighters back burnt trying to make it safe.
The fire that was to the north of us is still burning, a week later.
As you can see from this photo, there is still a fair bit of smoke hanging around, which has done nothing except help increase the washing in my laundry because I can’t hang it out! Anthony’s clothes, three washes later, still have a smoky smell to them!
We have a bushfire radio in house, and listening to that over the past week has been like listening to a movie you couldn’t see. The urgency behind the voices, the directions – I could picture these guys doing what they needed to do.
The professionalism of all our volunteer fire-fighters is amazing and they are all to be commended and thanked from the bottoms of our hearts.