Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Fire and Rain Dance

I mentioned how we received a phone call Friday to say the farm, our home and property 1000acres was at risk with an uncontrolled  fire burning about 6km away .Our neighbour called to warn us not realising we were in Sydney ...and we could do nothing to prepare.

His girlfriend's father is involved with the local RFS - so it was on good authority. The fire was on a property with bushland/woodland scrub and dry paddocks separating them and us.

It was a 'mentally' terrifying 1.5hrs till we got word from family, website updates and Facebook that all was okay, the fire was out. Not even a whisker of smoke in the sky.

Then Sunday night we had an hour of thick smoke in the southern sky and we could smell it.The same worried neighbour alerting us that he was heading to a fenceline, that borders the State forest to check for flames. We summoned the water tanker trailer from FIL's property , called 000 and waited.

Thankfully, they called back to say it was smoke blowing in from south and nothing to be concerned about, at the moment.

Except we were with strong winds blowing all evening and an uneasiness about the raging fire at Coonabarabran.

Nearby, about 1.5hrs away - a  40,000 hectare (100, 000 acres) bush fire continues to burn in the Warrumbungle National Park , west of Coonabarabran. They estimate 33 Properties (inc homes) 50 farm sheds and large amounts of machinery have been destroyed , countless stock and native animals have perished. As well as Sliding Springs conservatory where the exact damage is not known.

Putting it in perspective - trying to imagine 40,000 hectares - 50 x the size of our farm and my FIL's put together - it is 5km from one side to the other driving the track through the middle. If we drive by main road 7-8km out to the highway, 15 km along the highway and 4km back in to his farm it is 27km.

Picturing that area by x 50 is numbing. Stark and scary.

Today, I am thinking of all the families affected and those volunteers out fighting to save lives and property trying to contain this ferocious fire. I cannot imagine their loss or the terror of being in the middle of it.

It's a bit cooler today in low 30's and my hub is carrying a fire extinguisher when working and driving the tractor.

It's so dry here and we are surrounded by scrub, dry grassland paddocks, and thick woodland in places. We are a km or so from a State Forest too.

The long range forecast , after a few more days of temperatures in 40's, is for some rain. We really need it . We are hand feeding our cows and our water tanks are emptying. Quality feed is getting scarce and will be scarcer still with the fire damaging crops and paddocks at Coonabarabran.

We have purchased water twice in 6 months for our drinking water tanks. The dams for stock (and native animals) are getting low too. 

I am praying for rain soon !

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.  ~Author Unknown

It is your responsibility to reduce the risk to your family and your home and
take actions to survive a bush fire.
The most important decision is whether you and your family will 
Leave Early or if you will Stay and
Defend your well prepared home. 

Check the NSW website - http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/
If you are in NSW get updates here  there is also a phone app. Fires near me.

Do you have a plan to protect your family and your life - Download your Bushfire survival plan

linking up with Essentially Jess IBOT