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Just a little post to emphasise that we are all fine - we have fires to the north of us, but the next few days are fine. It is a hard line to walk, as some people know where I live, but it still isn't a brilliant idea to spell out on the net where you live, but I think I will.
I am at Briagolong, which is in the Heyfield fire complex. Valencia Creek is a less than five minute drive from us.
I have a close friend at Toongabbie, who was in a fairly tense situation the other night. I have a close association with Licola and Glenmaggie, and know most of the people at Cobannah, Castleburn and Dargo.
So, knowing those places, you should be able to tune into the DSE website HERE, and navigate your way around. If this page loads, we are the Heyfield Community updates, and the Mansfield Community map - way down in the bottom right-hand corner. It takes a while to load.
Again, we have the blessing of time (plenty of time to do the initial preparation), but also the curse of time, as it is a long, long wait.
So my major issue is getting my 80 years old mother out of there in time, or on the potentially bad days, and then facing the fire when it comes through. But we have a fantastic group of neighbours (we share all the three paddocks/blocks of long grass between us), and one neighbour has this on-call team of young men who come out on bad days and just wait with us ready.
This is my shed, including my stash shed on the left, behind the door. Everywhere around town is "sarking", an insulation hammered up to cover windows and open spaces, to guard against radiant heat (the windows) and embers (open areas, like this).
On top of the shed is my weather vane, pointing south, which is the safest direction for us. When it points north, we have problems.
Very early on, I had to mow most of my garden *including a lot of my irises), as it was a complex of long dry material and other flammable stuff. This bulb came up a few days later:
Fire and I are old foes - I went into Cockatoo after Ash Wednesday in the 1980s (that will only mean something to other Victorians), in charge of a work crew of young people. The whole landscape was black, except for the bright pink Belladonna lilies that came up through everything. This lily is a little like that.
It is a reminder that whatever comes, we will survive, and so will a lot of other things.