We woke this morning to bushfire warnings and evacuations for two towns about 35 km from us. The fire was caused by lightning from a summer storm in a forest north of here.
We’ve had no warnings here as yet, and I pray there won’t be. The sky has been full of smoke, obscuring the sun, and potentially messing up the weather radar, which seems to be reporting it as rain! In the past hour or so, burnt embers have been raining down — mostly burnt leaves. The wind is fickle, though mostly from the east pushing the fire towards the coast and blowing the smoke cloud towards the coast and the southwest. It is stinking hot and the humidity is around 10% — ideal fire conditions.
How do I feel? Sick to my stomach! My fight or flight response has been activated, and I’m continually checking the emergency warnings websites and the weather websites for changes to location, wind speed/direction, etc. I have a list of things to pack urgently if it comes this way or this far, and my ‘vital info’ folder is up-to-date with all the details of insurance policy numbers, bank account details, copies of passports, drivers licenses, Wills etc.
I hate summer — it should be renamed ‘fire season’.
Here are some photos from this morning.
Photos from around 9am (from eastern side of our house):
From western side of the house:
Photos from around 11:30am:
Radar image around 11:45am:
That green stuff looks like rain, but I expect it’s the smoke cloud that’s being reported. The town of Waroona has been evacuated, and the two highways between Perth and Bunbury have been closed.
Update 12 noon: An Emergency Warning is now in place for Harvey townsite and it is being evacuated now.
Photos from 12:15pm:
Burnt leaves rained down on us…
Photos from 12:40pm:
Photo from 1:50pm:
Update Sunday – 3 days later: All safe and sound and back at home now. Will write another blog post in next few days about what happened after I wrote the post above.