Readers, you know that I try to keep this blog light and bright and normally at this time I’d be shouting “Happy New Year!” from the rooftops but I find it hard to be positive. As you’ve probably read in your newspapers and newsfeeds and witnessed on your televisions and I direct this to overseas readers, this country is burning, uncontrollably. We watch the news broadcasts with tears in our eyes as towns that we’ve visited and had happy memories of are obliterated. Many of the towns, and that isn’t an exaggeration, many that we visited in 2019 have now been ravaged by fire.
We cut short our own Christmas break in Yackandandah to return home, Woody had a bad feeling about visiting the Upper Murray area as we had planned. What had been cool weather had become a heatwave and what has now been described as a ‘fire tornado’ has killed one fire fighter and continues to destroy that area around Cudgewa and Corryong.
The fire we saw start in Bruthen in November when we were staying in Lakes Entrance has cut off the whole of the East Gippsland leaving residents stranded and homeless.
The Sapphire Coast of southern New South Wales that we visited in March is a red inferno of smoke as fires generate more fires by hurling embers.
The list goes on, since September when we were witnessing fires in Qld and NSW, Sydney and the Gold Coast have been choked by the smoke of surrounding fires. Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania the list goes on. The tally of land burnt is now measured in the thousands of square kilometres, a thousand homes had been lost before these latest Victorian and South Coast fires broke out and the death toll continues to rise.
Our hearts go out to the firefighters and emergency workers who are working tirelessly and to the kindly folk who are caught in this horror. All I can say to local readers is please, stay safe and alert.