As I went to bed last night, ringing in my mind is the 85 people deathtoll from this latest fire season. Likely to go up, they say with nearly all of the burns critical, and as volunteers go house to house….whole communities wiped out with not one house standing.
When we choose to live in and with the Australian bush, fires of this sort are a risk. They happen every year despite the media acting like a bushfire raging through as a once in a lifetime disaster. This happens every year.
With loss of life, humans get off better than this on most occasions, but the unique animals who live in the bush have a death toll noone keeps count of.
Those 85+ people – I wonder how many of them knew this Christmas last was their last ever Christmas?
I know when Canberra went up like a stack of dry tinder, there was an enquiry into the actions of the firefights. Yet there was no loss of life there. What will happen here?
Largely these guys and girls are drawn from the community and volunteer to fight these blazes. They take leave from work, often without pay and lay their lives on the line for those at risk. One such volunteer lost his wife and children in the last few days while he was off fighting the same fires.
Sobering thoughts but much on my mind as a riot of parrots screech into the morning overhead and I am only too aware of how easily it could be here, with the right conditions.
I have been reminded yet again to live this day as if it were my last. You never know.