January 2020- Fire Fatigue

It rained overnight and it’s been cool and overcast all day. This change in weather has caused me to feel a little bit emotional. It’s a good kind of emotional. I’ve coined a new phrase that I’m calling “Fire Fatigue”. On the 30th November I posted the picture below on my Facebook page with a caption saying something about betting emotional at the sight of the trucks lined up and ready to defend our beautiful Wollombi Valley. Little did I know that over the next few weeks my emotions would be under siege just like our valley! 

Fast forward to today and I’m feeling immensely grateful. I have enormous appreciation for the RFS in the work they did during the fires, and in the weeks leading up to the fires. I’m humbled by the support that our community has shown towards each other, and thankful that no lives were lost, and that so many properties were saved.

Mentally I had prepared myself for ember attack, raging fire, strong winds and intense heat.  Thankfully nothing like that came close to us. Instead all the reports were that the fire was moving slowly and that it was just creeping along the ground. Heavy smoke filled the valley and we spent most of our time inside watching and waiting. .

Ready to fight spot fires.
Burnt leaves fell around us but they were cold so not any threat
Heavy smoke kept us inside most of the time.

The “Fire Fatigue” that I mentioned was fed by images like the one below. I can’t tell you how many times I checked my phone every day…hundreds wouldn’t be exaggerating. The Fires Near Me App and media reports made me feel even more stressed, because it was like living in a strange parallel universe, the information didn’t actually reflect what was happening “on the ground” at the farm. 

Thankfully the weather Gods were on our side. The wind came from the south and pushed the fire to the north, and away from us. I was relieved, but it was little consolation as the fire was now heading towards someone else. Not really the win we had hoped for.

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