Sunday, January 04, 2015

Photo a Day 4 Fire!

Still on target. A very dramatic shot - and a very dramatic day or two.

On New Year's Day - with a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius, a total fire ban and a day declared as a Catastrophic Fire Day - some idiot lit up his incinerator and set alight to the Adelaide Hills. The fire started some 20 kms away from us, but only about 5 kms from my daughter's property. I took the first photo on the evening of Jan 1st. By then it had burnt out about 5 000 hectares of mainly scrub and grasslands and destroyed 2 homes (ironically both belonged to fire fighters).

 The fire raged uncontrollably all night on a number of fronts. The fire fighters hampered by northerly winds, steep gullies and unknown terrain. By morning it was covering a huge area with 10 00000 hectares burnt and more homes lost. There were warnings for a number of surrounding communities to either stay and fight if they had adequate fire protection or to get out immediately.

We packed the car and ute with things we could not do without - mainly irreplaceables like photos, papers, change of clothes, my sewing machine, cameras, i-pads etc. My daughter rang to say they were leaving and heading for her partner's mothers house at Nairne. We loaded the dogs and took off as well, though we were reasonably happy that out property was OK. But the way the fire was behaving nobody really knew. Huge winds were expected that afternoon and it was very hot. The fire fighters had no control of the fire and were worried that when the winds worsened, they would have to pull out for their own safety.

I took this shot before we left home. The fire was about 8 kms away at this stage. It doesn't look as bad as the earlier one, but the smoke haze was bad, it was covering a much larger area and we were getting ash and burnt leaves landing on the front lawn.

We spent the afternoon anxiously watching a very poor TV coverage and really finding out nothing about the current situation. We had 8 adults, one toddler and 9 dogs in the house. Great fun trying to keep the dogs apart.  During the afternoon there was a radical wind change, the temperature dropped and there was even a little rain. The fire changed direction and began to race in different ways, thankfully away from us. My son rang to say he had been able to get home and all was well, so we headed home.

This morning our daughter rang to say that Steve, her partner had been able to persuade the road block to let him through. Their house is safe, though the fire got within 100metres on two sides.  The fires are still burning out of control in some areas and some communities are still in danger, though the worst of it is under control. Last we heard 5 houses and a dog and cattery had been destroyed, but that is pretty old news.

All in all a very worrying few days. We and ours are safe but I feel for those people who lost houses, stock and property.

Liz Needle

Update.  Fire still going, houses still under threat. So far 12 houses confirmed destroyed with a possible 20 more as yet not confirmed. No loss of life.

1 comment:

  1. HI Liz This is terrible however I am very glad you and your family are safe but it is awful for those who have lost their property. You did't think you would be writing a post like this.