Orange, New South Wales, is a very lucky place. In the past few years we’ve watched many natural disasters and tragedies occur all around this amazing country but recently, touch-wood, we’ve been spared the the worst heartaches and losses which have plagued regions and people across Australia. Today we think of those around NSW who have lost their houses in the bushfires raging up and down the east coast. Current count totals more than 100 houses lost in the massive fires, the largest fire being only about 115km away near a town called Lithgow. In just 24 hours this fire has destroyed more than 24000ha (nearly 60,000 acres) and is heading right across the Blue Mountains towards Sydney. The gallant firefighters of the Rural Fire Service are putting their lives on the line, supported by the services of NSW Fire & Rescue, the SES, Police etc, along with so many voluntary organisations in support.
One of the worst thoughts that comes to mind is the tragic loss of flora and fauna. We’ll never know the wildlife who didn’t make it but the immensity of these fires will cut huge swathes through local animal populations, and indeed make homeless many others.
So far Orange has been spared the worst, and Beau and Swift are quite safe. The sun has turned grey and brown with smoke this morning but our peregrines should be able to continue life normally at the moment.