It’s hard to focus my attention and write a concise reflection on the recent bushfire disaster. Words like devastation, catastrophic, tragedy and crisis are at the forefront of my mind. It’s difficult to accept what has happened and acknowledge that the fire season and the threat of fires is not over yet.
On the 24th November last year, my partner and I attended a Fire Preparedness Workshop at our local RFS station just down the road from our small rural property in New South Wales. The information and practical exercises helped to reinforce our plan to best prepare ourselves and our home for the upcoming fire season. Two days later, a fire started by lighting ignited in the Tallaganda National Park, 10 kilometres from our home.
The following weeks were stressful and frightening. The threat became very real when we could see the flames from the adjacent mountain range out our bedroom window. The smoke outside was thick for days at a time and often filtered into the house. In the end, we were safe. Due to wind direction and at times, favourable weather conditions the fire moved away from us. Sadly, it moved toward the town of Braidwood where others were not so lucky. Over 300,000 hectares of our beautiful forest and ecosystem was lost. In the weeks and months since this fire, dozens of other fires have devastated much of New South Wales and Victoria. I can’t begin to comprehend just how much has been lost.
I’m so thankful to everyone that has worked tirelessly for months fighting these fires. There’s a long way to go and our beautiful country desperately needs help. I would like to thank Boom for organising this wonderful auction to raise money for those affected by the ongoing bushfires. Please place a bid and give generously. The impact of these fires is far and wide.