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.
Fires are a real problem. It is great how people come together to help each other though even if they are arch enemies.
My Dad and I sighted a fire a while back- took ages before anyone else that was on the fire radio could see it. Dad and I started thinking that maybe we were going mad! Someone else eventually sighted it as well. turned out a tree company was harvesting on a fire ban day and had run out of water to put it out.
We also had a fire at our block in November- less than a year after we purchased it. It was still smouldering more than a week later and we found a couple of holes in the ground where the stumps had just completely burnt out! Quite a sight to see!
Mother nature makes me feel so small. That photo is amazing. To think something so beautiful on the surface is the result of such devastation. I am such a lover of the envrionment, i can’t help but think about all those little lives lost that we never think about – the animals, the insects – to good the bad and the ugly. They all play such an important role.
This has been such a bad year for fires, around Esperance. As I write, Anthony is hooning towards another one, this time a little closer to home. I think the thing that frightens me the most about them, is their power and rage. Especially if, like today, there is a gusty wind behind it.
And Jen, you are very right – every animal, insect and being is put here for a purpose. To lose any of them, is to lose something that was playing an important role in natures great plan.