So over 2 week ago? There was a big bush fire in our area. The weather notified the day before fires to be catastrophic. We were particularly alert about this, as we were currently going through a heat wave. Temperatures up in the mid 40’s, vey strong hot dry winds. On the day of the fire, the energy was intense! It was powerful!
I remember sitting in the house & feeling the wind smashing into the walls. I could see the trees being blown around, I could hear the air coming through the cracks in the windows.
I felt anxious being inside, distracted by walls & devices. Often, I ventured outdoors to feel the vibe, connect with the energy. I felt safer being outdoors, I could feel what was going on, I could smell the air, I could hear the sound the wind was carrying.
The only things was our youngest son sensed the energy too, he wasn’t feeling safe me being outside & constantly seeking me to be indoors with everyone else.
Hubby & I kept checking the fires app, to make sure we had our fingers on the pulse. I said to Chris that morning, I have a feeling something bad is going to happen & your going to tell me what it is.
Anyhow, within seconds of me updating my app & putting the device down, Chris said, shit, there is a fire up top of the valley, it’s out of control.
We did not hesitate to get the fuck out, we collected our babes, the animals, clothes & the few important things we were working on.
We drove around the valley & notified the residents that were still about. We drove up the top, we would of been ok to stay, but with young children, getting everyone to safety was our priority.
Seeing the fire burning in the tree tops & the helicopters working hard to put it out, the intensity of the wind that day, there was no stopping it. Not instantly anyways.
We drove around for a bit, decided we would go to a the drip for a swim to wait out the day. The road was closed, so we decided to go to another swimming hole. Road closed. At that point we were just driving around, wondering what to do. We only had a rockmelon, bottle of water. No money, no credit on my phone & didn’t know if we would be sleeping in our own beds that night.
We decided we would go to another swimming hole with natural water, & heaps of bush tucker. That way, we would be safe, food & water wise. We would just sleep in the car. But it was getting late & that place was 2 hours away! We also considered going to our friends, the same distance away, but with no way of communicating, we thought it not an option.
Once we drove out of our area, we learnt we’d be evacuated, so we couldn’t go back in. Plus we didn’t want to sleep with our eyes open if we went home. We went to the local pub where the valley residents were all perched. The kids weren’t in the right space to be in that environment, neither were we. We felt lost & stranded.
We drove into Mudgee, spent our last $8 on a phone call to hubbies mum & food for the kids. Mil lent is some cash to put credit on my phone, after an hour fucking around with trying to recharge my phone, we managed & realised people had been contacting us, checking to see if we were alright!
I did a blanket announcement & we decided we would head to the community hall for the night. It wasn’t ideal, but we had no other options.
Our friends, who used to live near us, contacted to see if we were ok! I told her the situation & they offered we stay at their place the night. We didn’t hesitate.
They too were homing another family who had been evacuated by another fire in the area, an even bigger one. So 6 parents, 9 kids, turned into a slumber party for the children & a support network for the adults.
It was awesome! We felt as safe as we could feel. Being with people we knew, the kids were having a great time. The next day was much of the same. We were so thankful for our friends!
The fire downgraded & was being controled that night, we thought we’d try our chances getting home. The road was still blocked off but they were letting residents through. We were home! The house was crazy, but it was nice to be home & sleep in our own beds. However, it did feel somewhat unsettling, as our fortune was others misfortune.
The experience made it clear to us, that we need to manage the fuel better on our property & learn to how to safely backburn throughout the year. Plus to also be prepared & have community.
In future, we too will be able to help the community out by volunteering, whether that’s helping with the fires or feeding the crew. But for now, we’ll make sure our property is set up to deal with this time of year better & to make sure we as a family are properly set up.
Next time we’ll have the van ready the day before & just head to a friends property. Crazy man!!! What an experience!
So thankful for the community & all involved in fighting fires & feeding the fire fighters & our mates during that time. Plus the residents who stayed on the valley & put our power back on so we didn’t loose 2 weeks worth of shopping :-/
It took awhile to come down from the experience. It was displacing. We particularly felt for the families who had lost their homes. The country community is very amazing, the support given & shown & the amount of stuff donated to the people who lost everything to help them rebuild was remarkable.
It’s so wonderfully amazing when humans come together to help & support one another during these times. No one is left without.
We found out what started the fire, a powerline! Another reason to be off-grid! No human lives were lost.
Lesson learnt! Be fire safe & fire smart! A house can be rebuilt & objects can be replaced. Lives can’t!
Thanks to everyone involved xx