In the face of fire…

I’m very grateful to live in Australia, and within Australia to have moved to Tassie where I have a lovely family and a pretty darn good life. It’s beautiful here, the air is clean, the water is safe to drink and there is an abundance of amazing food and natural wonder… The gifts of our location aside, this summer we’ve been reminded, in the only way you really can be, that there is more to the island than just natural beauty, beer and scallops.

When I was little in NSW, we knew all about bush fires. I can remember one year the town I was living in was ringed, the sky turned an angry red and the sun a ruddy orange, and black ash rained in my back yard for days. Scary stuff, but not something I’ve seen here in Tassie… not until this year. The sky changed colour, the sun was that same aggressive orange and the hot wind meant there was no relief to be had from the heat. That morning, Tassie Fires – We can help, was already up and running. Animals were being relocated, supplies were being shipped in and call outs for information on relatives and friends were flying back and forth as people tried to get a handle on this beast. When emergency services didn’t have enough boats, the community moved in to fill the gap.

The response was so intense that charities and emergency services had to liaise with the community and ask them to pull back on the reigns, there’ll be plenty to do, pace yourself, everyone will have a role to play. Whatever else is wrong with society, whatever wrongs there might be out there to be righted, for right now I think a great deal of pride and comfort can be taken in our community spirit. The plants will be regrown, the houses rebuilt, the laughter will return and we will continue.

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