My home is one of the many that lies on the projected fire path of the State Mine bushfire that is currently blazing a devastating trail through the Blue Mountains. We are watching the Rural Fire Service updates and we’ve cleared the leaves out of our gutters and we’ve kept the ground around our house moist. At present we don’t need to evacuate, but we may have to with very little notice… all we can do is watch, and wait, and try to fit as much normal life into the gaps in between the half-hourly bushfire updates on our local radio station.
The updates for the fires and instructions to residents can be found at: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/dsp_content.cfm?cat_id=684
If you chance across this post and would like to help those many people who have lost their homes and everything they own, you can do so over the phone by calling the Red Cross donation phone line: 1800 811 700
Our gratitude goes out to the many volunteer and career fire fighters who are trying to contain these threats to our homes. Also to the many wonderful volunteers helping victims and running evacuation centres.
The Holy Father Pope Francis, ever mindful of those who suffer, has sent word through his Secretary of State to encourage Australians at this time:
MESSAGE FROM THE HOLY FATHER ON THE AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRES
His Holiness Pope Francis has asked me to express his concern for the people of New South Wales and all who are affected the devastation wrought by the extensive fires in the region.
He prays especially for those who have died and for those who have lost their homes and workplaces, as well as for the numerous personnel working to combat the fires and provide comfort and care for those who are suffering.
Invoking the spiritual gifts of solidarity and perseverance upon the communities touched by these trying events, the Holy Father sends his blessing.
+Archbishop Pietro Parolin,
Secretary of State
From the Vatican, 19 October, 2013
The photographs included here were taken last Thursday from the vantage point of my front yard. This was just the beginning. The angry sun, the apricot glow and the smokey haze have all intensified as the situation has worsened. Please pray for all those who are affected by this disaster!
I love a sunburnt country
A land of sweeping plains
Of rugged mountain ranges
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons
I love her jewel seas
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me.
~ Dorothea Mackellar