De Facto counselliors
When I go for my morning walk around town I usually have a chat with some of the shopkeepers and they are telling me how emotionally drained they are by the end of the day. Not only trying to manage the logistics of re-stocking, but also hearing the stories of loss and destruction from their customers and trying to offer them a meaningful and kindly reply. It seems these people are our de facto counsellors, and it is taking a toll on them. So, I would like to say to all of you "Thanks". Your efforts are noticed and greatly appreciated.
C. Leonard, Ulladulla
Currowan Fire Choir
Do not sing in a bushfire. It is a very dangerous activity. Since December 2, 2019 eight members out of eighty (10 per cent) of The Glorious Mudsingers Choir have either lost their homes (3), lost a house on their property of a family member (1), had infrastructure and forest destroyed (3), or been burnt out completely on their property unable to get out (1). Various others were forced to evacuate.
This is a very high proportion and a dreadful story similar to the stories of so many across the nation.The choir draws people from Moruya in the south to Tomerong in the north, exactly the limits earlier predicted by the RFS for the Currowan Fire.
It has now spread much further. The eight people who were so damaged by the Currowan Fire came from Willinga Lake at Bawley Point, Boyne Mountain behind Termeil, Brooman Road near the Clyde River, Three Falls Road near Pigeon House, Clyde Ridge Road at Woodburn, Little Forest and Conjola.
All of these people had sung at the Mudsingers' Christmas Concert to raise funds for the firefighters. They were all in fine voice on the night. Perhaps they should have sung louder. Or softer. In spite of their terrible experiences and their losses they will continue to sing because the choir represents a strong community bond.But they won't sing in a bushfire. It tempts fate.
R. Hayes, Boyne Mountain, Termeil
Questions to be asked
I live on Boyne Ridge overlooking Termeil and Lake Tabourie. On Tuesday December 3 at 4pm, the Currowan fire exploded over the ridge from the west about 60 metres behind my home.
I spent 14 hours non-stop defending the house as fire went over and around it. My home was saved, but my neighbour's house 1km to the north was completely destroyed. The two other properties up here, although unattended, fortunately received minimal damage.
For two days before the fire arrived we received multiple evacuation notices from the RFS on our phones. These were all false alarms.
At 3pm on the Tuesday, one hour before the fire arrived behind me I received an evacuation notice! This regrettably late notice was provided despite there being multiple fire reconnaissance aircraft in the air above the ridge all day.
In the days leading up to the fire event, I had repeatedly warned the RFS that a wide unbroken fire front was visible approximately 5km to the west of the ridge, and that since the weather forecasts were unanimous in calling for westerly winds, we were obviously in trouble.
Repeatedly I was assured that the fire would pass to the south and not come over the ridge. Naturally I preferred to take my own counsel, and went about preparing my house for the approaching fire. Had I listened to the RFS, I would now have no home. These are facts.
My neighbors on the ridge have been agitating the Forestry Commission and the RFS for almost two years to conduct a hazard reduction burn to the eest of the ridge. Their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Had such a burn been carried out earlier, then the fire would not have travelled down into Termeil and Lake Tabourie.