The beautiful part of the world where I live, The Huon Valley, Tasmania, Australia is burning.
For the last 7 days my hometown has been on Emergency Bushfire warning, and I, my kidlet and cat, (who subsequently bolted and ran away 3 days ago – the cat, not the kidlet!) have been relocated to my Mum’s house 22kms away. Basically we took things I couldn’t replace (photos of my dead hubby that hadn’t been transferred to digital, my baby record books for my kids), and few clothes, medications and my wheelchair (can’t walk due to broken ankle) and drove away.
Some of my state has been burning for longer than other parts, but our southwest fire started on 16 Jan 2018 from many, many dry lightning strikes. Over the days the small fires have merged into one large area that spreads a firefront of over 100kms, mostly through heavy, hard to access forest areas, but is now encroaching onto country suburban areas. The fire has spread from an initial estimated 70 hectares to now being well of 37 000 hectares of forest burning.
The weather hasn’t been helpful, no rain is expected for many weeks. Today is the second “really bad” day (due to winds and temperature) in the last 4, more are expected next week. The road down to my hometown (and many others) has been closed for 2 days – only emergency vehicles are allowed through.
As of a couple of hours ago, my hometown was still ok, some small spotfires, lots and lots of smoke and some light ash. As I write this the predicted winds have turned again, and are now blowing it directly that way, giving reprieve to the other end of the valley (where my brothers family lived – they have relocated too) who were in the firing line this morning again. I have no idea when, or even if, I will see my home again – and that is hard to comprehend. Mostly I try to not think about.
This fire is uncontrollable at the moment, and has been for several days, it keeps jumping around, crossing containment lines, and generally being a nasty ravening beast.
Our wonderful firefighters, emergency personel and volunteers of all descriptions are working to help those of us affected by this. I would gladly let my house, and all I possess, burn to ashes multiple times as long as it means none of them will be hurt by fighting this fire.
We are only a small state and so our Fire Service is stretched to the limit, some crews have been fighting fires since before Christmas, and we still have another month of “fire Season” to go. We have been fortunate to have some national and international firefighters arrive to help us. We have other uncontrolled emergency rated bushfires buring in our central plateau area – around where our electricity is generated – so there is much for them to do.
I really didn’t mean to write so much, but I find that I need to put this on “paper” as it were. Things are bad, homes have been lost already, more will be, and there seems no end in the immediate future to this fire. Most likley it will burn for months, and even if they manage to steer it away somehow from our hometowns, many business that rely on forestry and tourism will be affected.
I know there are many places, and people worse off than us: war zones, natural disaster areas of unthinkable proportions, human tragedies unfold everyday, but I ask you to think good thoughts for us, and all the other folks in the world who might need it – if enough of us ask the Universe for good blessings, they shall arrive.
Stay safe where ever you may be, and good blessings to you and yours.