01 January 2006

Post Script (What a Difference a Day....)

The temperature outdoors reached 40 about an hour ago today, and with high winds, this means extreme fire danger. I thought the winds would bring a surcease to the heat, but rather than delivering a thunderstorm, they simply increase the change of random lightning. There is now a total fire ban in Canberra.

We haven't yet heard any news about local bushfires, but we can smell them. The sunlight is filtered through a almost imperceptible orange haze, giving that sensation of late afternoon long-shadowed light three hours early. We're about three suburbs in from high density tree populations, so we're most likely to be safe, but whatever lawns and footpaths surround our house are littered with last year's eucalypt leaves.

Shane's concerned. Tomorrow's his birthday and he's invited friends down to the river for a late afternoon swim and cool-off. Should bushfires occur out that way, we'll be in a heavily wooded valley, one that's been hit by fires before. Radio and phone cantact is limited at Uriarra. How will we keep abreast of the danger?

My fear is more direct and visceral. There is a river, so I think we can avoid direct contact with flames. I'm frightened (possibly childishly) by the possibility of a bushfire rolling right over the valley and sucking out all the oxygen.

I'll let you know how it goes.


Anonymous shane said...

I agree we'll probably be fairly safe in/at the river. I'm more concerned about the fire getting past us to town, and how my guests will know if they're needed at home?

I figure we'll check warnings before going out, and can nip up the hill to call if we get worried.. Just, better to think about it now than afterwards.

I expect anticlimax, but there's a definite frisson.

6:06 pm  

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