We have been dealing with the Blue Mountains fires. They are affecting so many in our close-knit Blue Mountains community here in NSW, Australia. For the first time in years, the fires are affecting suburbia Blue Mountains.
Springwood, Winmalee, Yellow Rock are merely 15 minutes drive up the mountain from us. Much-smaller communities Bell and Dargan are much further up the Blue Mountains, and my husband’s uncle lives there.
This is just outside our road, meeting the main road:
My husband’s in the volunteer-run NSW Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service (RFS), and seen firsthand the firestorms and HEARD for the first time, how loud and ferocious fire-wind can be. He’s seen the devastation of the fires in loss of homes, land, cattle, belongings. He’s been exhausted with efforts to deal with the fire and protecting people/cattle/homes. Seeing cars stranded on the side of the road because people were unable to go home to guard their homes and had to leave for evac centres has been unsettling.
The people of Blue Mountains are coming together in such a positive way. Bread, milk, eggs, food are being donated free from the local shops both to RFS members as well as those without homes… op-shops and people have donated bags and bags of clothes and necessities to the people who have lost their homes.
The skies have been constantly grey-orange and smoke prevails. Ashes fall like tiny flakes of snow constantly.
We have our fire-plan ready and I’m constantly thinking about the things in the home which are irreplaceable… photos, laptops, data, passports, important documents, family heirlooms etc.
Today we wet the exterior of the home (bricks), my husband swept up dried leaves (fire fodder) and having a sprinkler on the lawn. SOme homes have filled their gutter with water (blocked downpipes) but our rented property has old and rusted gutters, so no point.
My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes. It’s a terrifying thought. Almost cripples me. While our home are filled with “just things”, we have only kept around what we love. Through the years, we’ve replaced what “will do” with “what we love”. Cheap tables, chairs, bookshelves have been slowly replaced.
I can’t imagine losing it all.
I can’t imagine what it is like for all the 200+ families who have lost their homes.
Lord send rain.