Monday, 5 January 2015

The main fire area is

still on a "watch and act" level. It is not yet under control. The fire fighters hope to have it under control today, indeed need to have it under control. The weather will be worse tomorrow and Wednesday and not much better Thursday. We are all hoping that, for once, the weather people are right about the cool change for Friday. Weather forecasting is such an inexact science that I will not be holding my breath.
My news feed is still full of CFS (Country Fire Service) alerts that say "grass fire" and "building fire". The CFS site is still a sea of red and black - the first "going" and the second "complete".
There are some huge trees down - sometimes across roads - and they will have to be watched for days because fire can flare up again even it appears to be out. Embers flying out on the wind are a constant problem.
My youngest sister has a friend who lives in the fire zone. She has not heard from her. Text messages are simply not getting through. We know she is safe because everyone is accounted for - but her home, her animals, her business? (She runs a holiday farm.)
We know a couple whose son is a volunteer fire fighter. They are on high alert all the time he is out - but they would not have it any other way. The teacher around the corner is an SES (State Emergency Service) volunteer. His daughter was out walking the dog a short time ago.
        "Dad's come home to get a bit of sleep," she told me.
We have not-quite neighbours who went to get their daughter and two small children while their son remained to help. I'll find out shortly whether all is well with them.
The local charity shop, run by a major church, will be open this morning. People will be sent to them for assistance. I know they will call me when people need help with paperwork. And I know that insurance companies will do their best to delay, to not pay out, to find all the excuses in the world not to help.  I know that the $700 the government is offering - that is the maximum they will pay per family - is going to go nowhere at all and that many people will not see a cent of that.
But I also know that people will help, are helping. They can do that here. It's not a catastrophic earthquake or tsunami. All that really matters is that everyone is alive and accounted for - and we want it to stay that way.  

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