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December 13, 2006 

Burning Hot

Last weekend we did our Christmas shopping. Why is this of note? Because the reason we did it was the weather - 40 degree heat and "smoky" - was best avoided by being in an airconditioned shopping centre. The 40 degree heat is pretty self explanatory (I think it peaked at 42). It's smoky here because of the bushfires. I went out on Saturday morning to discover an eerie haze in the courtyard of the block of flats. Outside-proper was equally smokey, with a distinct smell. Everything seemed very strange - the horizon changed, noise was different. Weird.

Saturday we spent hanging round the house, writing cards, tidying up and stuff, as it was too hot to go out. Sunday we went to church, had a coffee with friends then headed off shopping. By Sunday afternoon the cold change had arrived and as we were heading back the smoke was clearing and it was about 22 degrees!

Today the smoke was back. It got worse through the day and we could smell it in our office from about 10am. My throat is sore, and I didn't run as I didn't think it was healthy. But I have got used to the look of the area.

The fires are burning pretty strongly. There's no rain forecast for the summer, and they say the fires will burn all summer, albeit contained and reduced. It won't take much to flare one up again. This pageis useful if you're in the country. Looking tonight compared to earlier the situation seems to be improving. The CFA do amazing work. If we lived somewhere more appropriate I'd definitely be involved. I just keep donating to the collecting boxes, and sending good thoughts...

I guess the scary thing is that they keep picking up water and dumping it on the blazes... in a country with no water anyway. And added to that there's the regrowth, which next spring will use twice the water a normal spring growth would have done, leaving less in the waterways. I can't see my job tailing off any time soon. Good job I love it!