Day 98 – Bushfire Season and Rain

I’m not anywhere near where the fires are burning at this time. I want to lead with that if any family might be wondering/worrying.

Even more so, my slice of western Sydney looks so at odds with the photos in the news that I’m having a hard time reconciling the two images. Today was a cool day here. It was a very damp day.

I believe we had about the same amount of rain as the mountains got, but it is easy to lose perspective when there isn’t a 400 square kilometer fire rapidly approaching where you live. I don’t think the amount of water that fell here will make a dent in the mountains. It’ll have evaporated before it even hit the fires.

Some Trapped Drizzle

Some Trapped Drizzle

From what I understand, the rain that fell may even be counter-productive, in that it hampers the controlled burning of fire breaks more than it does the actual fire itself.

I read on the news sites that some people were tweeting about “good falls” in the mountains, but I do have to wonder how much of it is some level of wishful thinking. When fire threatens the place you live in, science is less relevant than any source of hope you can cling to.

I sympathise deeply, but I’m not sure I entirely relate. There is little I couldn’t either take with me if I had to evacuate, or replace afterwards if necessary. I think I could grab all the essentials in under 5 minutes.

Aside: a small plug here for my trusty QNAP storage device… a single cube barely larger than a shoebox stores all my irreplaceable data.

Wet and Hazy under the Street Lights

Wet and Hazy under the Street Lights

Still, I don’t know what to tell those directly affected. There were some already affected by the fires at the party over the weekend; and the most I could do was try to keep their thoughts off mother nature, and say something funny to keep them smiling for a bit.

I know that at least one friend is journeying into the mountains tomorrow to defend an ancestral home. I could never do it. It seems like insanity to me to take any risk like that. But it’s easy for me to say when I don’t have a determined parent staying behind to defend their house. I cannot say what I’d decide if my parents wanted to stay through the fires.

Rain on Cars, Slick Shiny Streets

Rain on Cars, Slick Shiny Streets

It all seems so remote and inconceivable from here. The maps of the affected areas seem so strangely small. I have no sense of scale, and all the while my street out front is still shimmering with the damp that fell earlier today.

Instinctively it feels like something that should be solve-able. We have landed on the moon, we have split the atom, we created the Internet.

This is fire for crying out loud… Man’s first invention. And the most common substance on this planet, water, foils it. Somehow it just doesn’t fit inside my brain that this could even be a problem at all.