As you've probably seen on the media, bushfires have recently turned the South Coast of NSW into a fiery hell. Some of your favourite destinations for kiting, surfing, windsurfing and just getting away from the city for some peace amongst our beautiful natural environment have been burnt beyond recognition. So far a number of lives have been lost devastating families in the region
Hundreds of houses are gone, power lines litter the roads meaning no power, with minimal fuel, food, communications and other services we take for granted.
I live in the Jervis Bay region of the NSW South Coast and we have been fortunate, with some earlier fires and fortuitous wind changes, protecting us from the disaster further south. We can see the fires across the waters of St Georges Basin and backburns have been made from the boundary of some of our villages further protecting us. We have full access to the Princes Highway and no loss of services.
The fires aren't out so we're not out of the woods yet but it's getting to the point where there's not much left to burn.
We can go out kitesurfing, windsurfing etc here and enjoy the north easters which turn to dry, fire feeding north westers a few km inland and further south, fuelling this current disaster. It's surreal to look back from the water and see so much of the country enveloped in an endless cloud of smoke.
This weekend is forecast to have catastrophic fire weather conditions, so lets hope the great work the Regional Fire Service has done gives us some respite. Currently there are convoys of cars travelling north on the few open roads as the emergency services try and empty the region.
Unfortunately after the fires burn out, (as it doesn't look like any rain is forecast in the near future), the disaster will roll on. As well as all the buildings which have been lost, business have also been lost and the South Coast economy which is so dependent on tourism has been decimated. Rebuilding a region which extends hundreds of km from Nowra to the Victorian border will be an unprecedented challenge. Those of us who live on the South Coast would value any support that can be given once the fire threat is over. Once services have been restored, many unburnt destinations will be open for business and need your support. Visit and stay in local accommodation, eat in restaurants & cafes, take cruises, buy from South Coast shops, SUP, surf & kite, bushwalk in the National Parks and do all the great things the South Coast offers.
For my friends further South, take care and I hope things get better soon. My thoughts and those of many others are with you.
These are trying times Dave, and we have a great community around here and is why I love living here so much. But Saturday is a big concern. My families farm of 100 acres got burned through last week, but the heroic efforts of the Geelong fire brigade that came to rescue saved the houses and shed and the animals that were left that could not be captured. Not sure if you heard, but Lindy Jurd lost her home in the Conjola fire. The chef at my daughters restaurant lost her home too and her animals that couldn't be rescued. It's an eerie hell right now with all the smoke (been like this for weeks now). Hopefully we can all work through this disaster together, and when it's finished, really tackle the challenges of climate change.
It is hard to put into words how incomprehensible the whole situation is, and I cannot imagine how scared and devastated people are feeling with the unrelenting maelstrom continuing to wreak havoc.
I'm following a few things in the music (my other passion) communities who are online, and it looks like there's efforts going into setting up some charity events/concerts and such which I'm hoping to be part of. From what I can see, there's lots of people everywhere not affected by the fires but feeling utterly helpless at what they can do, and as you say everything helps now and in the re-building process.