The wettest winter on record, followed by the hottest summer on record, has meant our district is blanketed in long, thick dry grass. This is producing perfect conditions for grass and bush fires. Lightning strikes, farm machinery and one idiot with a welder in the middle of a paddock (just up the road from us) has kept us and the rest of the rural fire service busy over the last month.
While planes, helicopters and fire trucks are the well known symbols of fighting bush fires, most of the work is done with axes and rake hoes, making containment lines and breaking up burning timber. It’s hot, hard work, often in really inaccessible country, but we are always amazed at how many people turn up whenever there’s a fire.
We’ve been pretty lucky and none of the local fires have gotten out of hand; the people in Dunedoo and Wollar just to the north of us have had it a lot tougher.
The last few days things have quietened down a little and we’ve had a break from it, but we’re all on standby as the hot weather comes back towards the end of this week.