Friday, 3 January 2020

Australian Bushfires 2020

Yesterday was my first day back at work after the Christmas break.  After the initial enquiries between us about each other’s holiday activities the main topic of conversation is the bush fires. They are burning all over the country from Western Australia through to New South Wales on the other side.  My family and I are lucky and aren’t near the fires but you can’t help but be a bit apprehensive, especially as things like grass fires might start on the edge of town.  

My husband regularly visits his sick mother in Ballarat and then drives on to check on her house at Colac so he travels through fire prone areas that were majorly burnt out in 1944 and 1977. It could happen again there. 

Circumstances have just all come together – a long drought, exceptionally high temperatures, over 40 degrees, and high winds.  Usually bush fires occur later in summer but these fires have started very early and the prediction is that no cooler weather or rain for another couple of months. 

The pictures that are coming out of the affected areas are mind blowing and the job the firefighters (volunteers) are doing is incredible and heroic.  These fires are so big, so intense and are moving so fast they are hard to fight and extremely difficult to contain. Some of the fires are firestorms that create their own weather around them with lightning and cyclonic winds at temperatures like that in a brick kiln – melting metal, liquefying glass and vapourising anything soft. 

The embers are flung ahead of the main fire, tearing and bouncing horizontally across the ground like water droplets would come out of a hose at full pressure. They just hit everything and set it ablaze. 

The dust and smoke from the fires have crossed the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, 2,000 km. We have had no smoke haze near our home but other areas are smoke hazed and day turned to night for days on end. 

One our co-workers has leave booked in a fortnights time.  She was going to visit friends up at Batemans Bay – where some of the worst fires are near.  That won’t be happening. 

Our hearts go out to all the people caught up in this disaster.

3 comments:

  1. I see the horror on the news every nigh and wonder when will it be over. Praying it is soon...Loz

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  2. Your thoughts on our current catastrophe are so right Skye! It is hard enough to see on our news reports, but how terrifying and sad for those living through it! Let us hope it improves soon!

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    1. At least today would have been a short respite. I hope your air quality wasn't too bad today.

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