Tuesday, January 15, 2013

clearer skies





Well, it's been quite a week.

Only a few hours after my last post (over one week ago now) we received news that the following day would put us in the "catastrophic" bushfire level. Our plan has always been to get out as early as possible, living in a bushfire prone area. With the hot dry winds forecast, a fire already out of control just over the mountains from us,  it seemed the most sensible approach for us. So after just finishing all the unpacking from being down the coast, we were once again packing. With the addition of valuables, photos, computer and documents this time. And our dog. Gardens hosed, gutters checked and all possible fuel sources moved, we were on our way, arriving at my parents house late in the night. We set up the camper trailer in the backyard.

It was a little surreal seeing all the familiar local place names, relatively unknown to the outside world, flashing up on the news over the next few days. Seeing the locals in the papers and on the news.

I am incredibly grateful for the hard work of the firefighters, many of them local volunteers who worked around the clock, often putting themselves at risk, to save people, properties and contain that fire.

Daniel returned on Wednesday and spent the next three days as a volunteer. Driving fire trucks, helping with containment lines and unloading supplies. Sometimes in danger. It certainly helped that he knew all the local tracks. I was both incredibly worried and proud of him at the same time. He said at night you could see the fire from our house.

So the kids and I waited it out at my parents, who were so generous (and patient!) with providing a home away from home for us. Relying more on news stories and internet updates, than the rare occasion that Daniel was at home, to find out what was going on. It was a very stressful, frustrating week, much of it spent glued to the tv watching the news, and I can only begin to  imagine how much worse it was for so many other people out there, some of them having no home to go back to.

The threat eased and we made the decision to come home on Sunday. No smoke, just a strange smoky smell in the air. Even our tank water had a strange smell.

We are not entirely out of the woods. There is still a lot of fire vehicles around, and although now more contained, it is not out. We've had some favourable weather, and let's hope for no more extremely hot, windy weather this week.

But I'm relieved to be home. Relieved to be back in my own bed. Relieved that we did have a home to come back to.


(Thank you so much to those who sent messages of concern. It was much appreciated!)

27 comments:

Sarah Jane said...

I'm so glad to hear that you are all safe and sound. What a horrible week! Stay safe, xx

suburbandigs said...

I had been wondering if your area was at risk - I'm very glad to hear everything is okay. I think you made a sensible decision to get out early and I hope we've seen the end of it. Best regards, Michael.

rhonda jean said...

Gee Tania, I thought you'd gone off for a little holiday! I'm so thankful you're all safe. I hope you can all settle down now. Take care, love. xx

Evi said...

Me too, I thought you were just having a teeny blog break to be with your children.... I'm so glad your sweet family and your delightful home are safe! Lets hope it continues that way with the help of a lot of rain and no wind.
Wishing you a very contented and creative 2013 xx

A little bit Country said...

Glad to read you are home, safe and well. I've been watching it all unfold via online news. So scary. Keep safe xo

Julie said...

What a stressful time for you, I'm glad to hear you are safe and I hope you can relax back into being home now.

Catherine said...

It must have been so worrying for you Tania. I had been thinking about you after your last post and wondering if all was ok so I'm glad things are better. I hope that a nice cool change with rain comes along soon to completely put the fire out. Take care glad to see you back. xx

Jodie Clarke said...

So glad you are all ok...i was wondering about you...must have been difficult explaining to the kids why you were off again! I hope you get some of the rain and cool change we had yesterday and are able to stay safe x

Steph @ this brown wren said...

What an enormous week for you all! So heart wrenching. I'm so pleased to hear all is well lovely. Try to have some down time this week and let your body unwind from what would have been a terribly nerve wracking time. :) x

Nicole said...

Oh, Tania, I was thinking of you all week, so glad to hear all is ok.... ish. Our thoughts are with everyone affected. What a scary time for all. Xxx.

Enchanted Moments said...

Glad it has all worked out okay for your family and home...x

Lila said...

glad you're safe, hope the fires stay away.

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

relieved to hear that you are safe and sound Tania! It must have been quite an emotional ordeal the not knowing! Hope you can get some much needed calmness and sense of normalcy in your days xx

Coal Valley View said...

So glad you're all safe and well. A fire went right up to the road that borders my Dad's property between Bungendore and Braidwood (same fire maybe?). So so close and there was not much notice as all the alerts had the fire further east than it actually went. Scary stuff. We had some Bushfires down here in Tassie too, one which was very close and we received an emergency warning to evacuate. It really puts the wind up you doesn't it. Good on your Daniel for helping out. Take care. Mel x

Linda said...

I'm so glad you're okay. I hadn't realised you were in the thick of it or indeed that a catastrophic day had been declared. Very scary. I'm glad you have thought out your plans and followed them. Stay safe!

motherwho said...

Thank goodness you are all well and safe. We have been watching the news too. Hopefully over the next week things will calm down and all will be well again. Stay safe! xxx

dear molly said...

What an frightening ordeal. So glad to hear you are all home safe and sound Tania..this time of the year with all the fires gives me the hebbie gebbies. My heart aches for those affected by the fires.
x

simone17 said...

How. Awful!!! Glad u are all safe! Bless firefighters everywhere.

Elizabeth said...

Tania, so glad you are all safe and sound. I had been wondering and worrying whether you were ok. We also received the catastrophic warning but were already away down the coast. Got stuck with the highway closed for a while. Take it easy, cheers from Liz near Wollongong xo

BLD in MT said...

I can't even imagine going through this sort of stress and fear. I am so glad your house and family are safe and sound.

Jacaranda said...

The weather has been crazy hot with the most awful hot dry winds......all those homes lost out west :( glad you got out.....how incredibly stressful for the kids had you stayed. At least now you know first hand what to do on an emergency or if you need to leave again. I heard that you should block your down pipe with a sock of sand and fill your gutters up with water?

trishie said...

I can only imagine how stressful this week has been for you. Great to hear the threat has eased. Stay safe and stay cool.

Kimberley Atkinson said...

So glad you are all safe. The fire news seems to have gone off the radar in NZ now, so we really have no idea of how things continue.

Gooseberry Jam said...

Glad to hear your all safe and well Tania, I have been thinking of you heaps, it must have been very worrying for you especially with Daniel still out in it all. Good to hear your back home.
Hubby had just dropped us off at his parents place on their sheep farm for a few days when the Warrambungles caught on fire, We were on the west side of the range, on alert but no immediate danger as the wind was blowing in the opposite direction. ( a wind I have never experienced before in my life) the flames and smoke were just incredible, very scary, glad to be back home again now and praying they get the fire contained very soon. xo

Tania said...

Thank you all for your kind comments.
Hi Liz, I hope you weren't stranded too long, some people ended up waiting all night in the traffic at that fire!

Lea said...

Scary. Glad you are all safe.

Bee Girl said...

Keeping you and yours in my thoughts. Fire season is never any fun! Stay safe :-)