Sunday, February 15, 2009

M and I went out for breakfast yesterday. I was reading the list of people lost in the Victorian fires and saw my that one of that one of my lecturer's name on the list. That really upset me.

I got an email from K. She lives near the fires. She could see the fires from where she was. The tragic thing is that even though she and her family are safe, they've lost friends and work collegues to the fire. M had a work collegue and friend in the area, who is currently on maternity leave. He'd been trying to contact her for a week. Thankfully he finally got news that N and her family were evacuated.

I'm just glad that E sold her property in Kinglake. So much was lost, so many lives affected. It's sad to think that the people up north in Queensland who lost so much in the recent floods have been almost forgotten as the country's attention is now focused on the fires.

I drive to work every morning, (although I would like to be able to catch public transport instead, but at the moment it is impractical). Last week was a nightmare. Traffic has increased, now that the summer holidays are over for most people. I usually drive to work listening to radio national or ABC radio. I've had to force myself to stop listening to the radio because the constant updates on the Victorian fires were so upsetting. I didn't want to start work every morning depressed.

I realise now that I'm living on a ticking time bomb, surrounded by bushland. Our landscape is a little different. In Victoria, the bush is designed to burn every 20-50 or so years. Here, we're surrounded by heathland, which burns every 10 or so years. The last time there was a fire, 90% of the park was affected. It was a miracle that all the houses were left standing (thanks to the efforts of the rangers who stayed to defend the properties). M and I decided that if there was a fire, I'm to leave. He doesn't want me to stay and I agree. Nature can be unpredictable. I don't want him to stay, but if there is a fire he's usually part of the incident control team. Thankfully, he doesn't have to physically fight the fire anymore. I use to hate it when he was on fire duty.

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