Journalists with RFS accreditation have been privileged throughout this bushfire emergency. While evacuated residents have often been held up by blocked roads, our RFS cards and yellow fire suits have allowed us to get into areas off-limits to all but emergency crews.
This is a privilege because we get to write the first draft of history and take our audience into the burnt zone, sharing the stories we find in there.
But this right of access also carries a burden.
Try as we might to retain our journalistic detachment, there comes a point when what we have seen during the day returns to play havoc with our heartstrings.
This generally happens at 2am.
Not wanting to wake loved ones, many of us retreat to a quiet corner of the house to have a good cry. It's a means of offloading the confronting sights we have seen and stories we've been told.
This is natural. As a paramedic told us in August 2018, on the day chopper pilot Alan Tull died fighting the Kingiman fire near Milton, there'd be something wrong with us if we didn't feel raw emotion.
Local journalists have not only been reporting the story but at times have become part of it. Some have evacuated not once but several times, others have seen flames bear down on their own homes.
Add to that our familiarity with the places impacted by fire. What was a favourite part of the world last week is today reduced to ash.
We have a deeper investment in the story becasue we live here. Many of us set out in the morning wondering if our homes will still be there in the afternoon.
Who wouldn't shed a tear after weeks of this with no end in sight?
And, of course, this applies to everyone.
All of us have been caught up in our country's trauma. We've seen our beloved native animals decimated, our forests reduced to ashes, thousands of homes destroyed.
We've seen incredible bravery, selflessness and sacrifice.
We've seen the world come to our aid.
We've watched the leaders who matter - the fire chiefs, the incident controllers - do a sterling job not only in fighting the fires but in extinguishing the rumours and falsehoods tearing through social media.
As a country, a community and as individuals we have all shed tears.
And we have all become stronger, more human for doing so.