Sunday, 20 January 2013

The End of Summer

My boys Summer Holidays end next week and then it is back to the usual routine of early starts, long drives, bus trips and massive amounts of homework!!  It really doesn't seem like we have had a summer break this year with all the fires, I for one will be glad when Summer is over.  We had 7 years of drought and then this time Christmas 2010 we were battling floods, this year it's Fire!

Our backyard, December 2012

We have had such a fierce Summer this season, it seems like Australia is on fire!  45c days and high winds, it's like living in a furnace.  We live in the country and have been on High Fire Alert all season, we spent our Christmas Holidays mowing down all our paddocks to stop grass fires from spreading.   It is the first Summer in a few years we have had to have all our firefighting equipment out and ready to use in this very hot dry weather we have been experiencing.  There has been a constant hazy smell of burning eucalyptus around our home for days, the first sniff of smoke and we are all out on the verandah scanning the surrounding countryside looking for fire.  So far this year we have been lucky, only one grass fire in our area, back in the 80's the original house on our property was burnt down.  You can clear around your house and be as prepared as you can get but if that fire is out of control all you can do is leave and hope your house is still there when you get back.

Julian Smith/EPA

I am sure most of you have seen on the news in your part of the world the terrible devastating bush fires we have been coping with this season, as bad as it is to see people lose their homes what hurts me most is to see the loss of animal life.  We have cattle and horses which we are keeping in a cleared paddock next to our house at the moment.   It contains a big dam and I just hope that if a fire comes through they will have enough sense to go to the water, if we can't get out that is where we go.

Dean Lewins/EPA

I'd like to send a big thank you out to all our firefighters working in hellish conditions. There is nothing more frightening than the noise and heat of a fire and these brave men and women stay and fight,  risking their own lives.  They do a brilliant job and deserve our gratitude.

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