Now the flames have gone and the immediate threat has eased (and, no, a bit of rain should not lull us into complacency), the task of rebuilding ought to be getting under way.
Unfortunately, in many instances this is not the case as insurance companies race to get assessors out, governments at all levels make new recovery announcements every day and people and businesses struggle to make sense of what they're actually entitled to and how they can access it.
As the experience in Tathra showed after the 2018 fires, despite all the assistance, the benefit concerts, the donations, patience is the one thing in short supply.
Two years on, some survivors of that blaze are still waiting to rebuild. And remember, as dreadful as it was, the Tathra fire destroyed some 70 houses whereas here on the coast we're looking at 1000 homes lost.
Returning to any sense of normality will be a long and winding road for many of us. The desire to make a start is totally understandable. Being caught in limbo in a home that's not yours will place an extra dimension of distress on those have already been through enough.
Already, there's a sense of confusion on the ground as to what people are entitled to. We've heard many stories of people being told by one person they're not entitled to assistance and by another that they are.
We've heard of people who don't quite tick the right boxes falling through the cracks - seasonal cleaning contractors, for instance, whose winter and spring income statements don't reflect the amount of money they'd normally make in the busy summer season.
We've spoken to businesses whose income has collapsed with the exodus of tourists. Some have been told their applications for assistance will take up to six weeks to be determined.
We've heard of confusion among insurers, who are waiting for the next announcement of aid being offered by the state or federal governments and, in some cases, local councils.
All of this is frustrating but, to be fair, understandable given the scale and spread of destruction.
In coming weeks, a pattern will emerge and progress will start to be made. But it will still be a time of great vulnerability as the adrenaline from the disaster recedes and the sorrow starts to take over.
This is when communities will need more than monetary support, with a focus on mental wellbeing and resilience.