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Namadgi burning / Canberra burning / Australia burning

Sometimes sh*t happens, ladies and gentlemen.  Or accidents happen, to be more polite.  Canberra’s beloved Namadgi National Park is on fire and the fire is heading towards Canberra’s southern most rural settlement, located just beyond the city proper.  It’s just been one day after wretched day for over a month now.  Many Canberrans will spend an anxious night and next few days.  Some southsiders in the path of the fire have already evacuated.  My family lives on the other side of town to the fire.  We are fine for now.

Of course, the animals in the national park and surrounding reserves haven’t evacuated.  This fire will add to the already staggering toll on wildlife due to bushfires in Australia this summer.  I’ve had a bit of a cry about it.  Who wouldn’t?   The Orroral Valley (Namadgi) fire, which has burned over 8,000 hectares since yesterday, started in the same area that was featured in my post, In The Firing Line.   Prescient?  Nup, just bad luck.  The fire was started by a military helicopter undertaking a surveillance flight.  It was just a dreadful accident with potentially deadly consequences (see here).  Good grief, you would think the big guy had it in for us!  You know …. those in the Canberra bubble.

We may not have the big guy on our side, but we have the wonderful emergency services, volunteer fire fighters and aerial support teams doing their utmost to protect our city and surrounds.  I thank them for all their hard work in difficult and dangerous circumstances.

I still don’t know where we’ll go if we have to evacuate.  I’ve got three noisy, anti-social dogs and two geriatric canaries.  We could go north I suppose — to where the drought has broken and the wet season is in full swing.  But we probably won’t.  I’ve got surgery scheduled in just over a week …

Oh yeah, I took the photo of the billowing smoke from my front yard this evening.

Cheerio.
Tracy.

 

 

71 thoughts on “When Things Go Wrong

  1. Oh my goodness. I knew Canberra was in danger, but just not how much. I am in the UK and try to keep up with what is happening there. Stay safe Tracy and good luck for the surgery

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      1. Hello. Yes, you have got my name right. Gosh, eye surgery. What is it for? I am blind. Not born blind, but from chemo that I had. I know another blogger who lives in Canberra, but I have not heard from her lately. After reqdingbyour post I went to try and find out exactly what is happening in Canberra. I really feel for you all. It sounds terrifying. I really hope your surgery goes well and that the fires don’t hamper your recovery. Thanks so much for responding to me. Thoughts for you all over there.

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      2. I hope you hear from your friend soon, Lorraine. It must be worrying not to have heard from her.
        I have a pterygium that is affecting my vision. I need to have it removed to stop if from growing and my vision deteriorating further. It will painful for a few days post-surgery, but hopefully there will also be some improvement in my vision. I read your story on your blog. It must be difficult living with your condition, and as you mention, so very isolating. I am glad you could reach out online and find a supportive community. My thoughts are with you too.

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  2. Oh Tracy, stay safe and good luck with your surgery. Wishing you a speedy recovery and sending lots of love your way 💞💜💞

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  3. Tracy, my heart is tuned in to you and the devastating loss all around you. Grateful for your calm voice and your intent to show the silver lining even as you show us the catastrophic conditions all around you. Blessings and aloha.

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      1. Tell Ama good luck. There’s nothing like a good hunt for a dog like her. And yeah. I get how 36 is a break in the weather. I remember that from California. It would get “down” to 90 F and I thought it was cool enough to ride the bike to nowhere (which was outside). I hope the rain heads your way.

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  4. That’s a beautiful but very scary photo. I hope they can get a handle on this fire before it reaches the city. I’m so very sad about the devastating brush fires you are having — and about the poor animals, too! Do stay safe!

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  5. I am relieved to hear that you are on the other side of town from the latest fire. When David and I visited Canberra in 2007 we stayed with friends who lived in Banks. I’m so glad that they don’t live there now. They took us to visit the Lanyon Homestead and to Tidbinbilla to see the Deep Space Complex. I remember commenting to my friend that Tharwa was mentioned in the Neville Shute novel “In the Wet” which I am very fond of. I know these places were a relatively short drive from our friends home so it is a scary thought that the fire might reach suburbia. I feel your sadness for the wildlife, we can’t afford to lose any more animals.

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    1. I had a vain hope we would escape the summer onslaught, Vanda. I still hope some of the NP can be saved. The Parks people have moved some of the animals out of Tidbinbilla as a precaution. They have an important threatened species breeding program there. Thank goodness, otherwise we might have completely lost the Corroboree frogs. They’ve also moved the platypus out. The dams and streams were very low when we visited a year ago about this time, and there has been little rain since.

      It must be quite nerve racking for the people of Tharwa and Tuggeranong. There are many photos online of the Brindies on fire. It certainly gets the adrenaline flowing seeing the fire come toward you. I can’t see the hills from my house. Thank goodness, because it would scare the living daylights out of me. Lanyon Homestead is such a jewel. It would be a huge loss …

      We’ll see what happens. I’m exhausted.

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  6. Tracy, glad to hear you are safe. The thought of the animals … the trauma of it all is so distressing. Keeping you in thought in a special way as your surgery looms. Hope all goes well, as it will. Much love

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    1. Thank you, Dawn. I’ve been thinking maybe I could get involved in wildlife caring/rescue once my dogs have lived their lives. That won’t be for a number of years, but the need will still be great I imagine. I have my WA friends in my thoughts too. The heat and lack of rain is a huge problem for us all.
      The surgery will be fine – painful but hopefully I should be able to see better eventually. I might be able to see the birds without the camera. 🙂

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      1. Rescue work would be so rewarding for all. I can no longer look at anything that refers to the bushfires. So distressing seeing those otherwise shy koalas seeking humans and clinging like children.
        Hope the surgery goes well. Good reward to be able to see those beautiful birds!

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  7. Oh Tracy what a devastating turn of events resulting from an accident. I am relieved to hear you live on the other side of Canberra but the loss of all that NP area and the poor animals. When will the horror of this summer end. Stay safe and I send best wishes for your eye surgery and the positive outcome.

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  8. I’m at a loss for words, Tracy, except curse words and I won’t write them down for everybody’s sake. 😂 Wishing you all the best for your eye surgery and a speedy recovery! ❤

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  9. Heavy on us all – you, Australia, the world. You are always in my thoughts and the dreams of water and miraculous saving of all those animals are in my dreams at night. Glad you live at the other end and is safe so far. Good luck with your surgery –

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  10. Oh Tracy such a ominous photograph. The waiting and watching working out what to pack and be prepared. You just do not really sleep or relax. We do have amazing firefighters and all those who are there to help from interstate and overseas, the paid and volunteers. The people monitoring it all. I am so glad that the Coroboree Frog breeding program is safe, and other ones. Lanyon homestead would be devastating to loose that piece of history. I feel for you all.

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  11. I hope the fire can be contained. I hope you and your family remain safe. I hope your surgery goes well and your recovery is swift. All I can offer are my hopes; and they feel like bugger-all.

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      1. I can relate, Su. Sending a hug your way. I am filled with dismay that denialist=backed governments here seek to exploit the fires to control the agenda for their own advantage and dictate the response. Concerned citizens here are going to be in for the fight of their lives, while we are already feeling absolutely smashed.

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  12. Billowing cloud of purple smoke, you trying to breathe. Words aren’t any good at this time, but I’m thinking of you. Hope your surgery goes well, hope you are safe and didn’t have to evacuate – but my words pale compared to what you’re living through. This has to end, this drought, this heat, these fires, the refusal to face the truth.
    Just words, just words.

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