“I have got my own unit because I want the flexibility of going where I want, when I want—to help out family, friends, neighbours or those that I think need help the most. This year we were affected personally so it was a lot different than seeing it from afar.
Just about every day between the 20th December and the 3rd January I was out there helping others. After the 3rd I stayed home as our farm had burned. The fire persisted a lot longer this time. From memory, the 2007 fire burned through and appeared to be under control a lot quicker than this one was.
Summer holidays were very much like Groundhog Day. Every day you got up, come lunch time certain hotspots would spike up and it was flat out. Didn’t have any family time really, and it was constant each day; a bit of a drag.
I feel a lot more optimistic coming into the next summer—at least fire-wise. For us being burned out, I can’t see any great risk of having another fire, at least I am at ease there. Hopefully we can have a bit more family time, go to the beach, that sort of thing.
Realistically this season coming will be the same as every other season. We just had a bad set of circumstances. High winds, hot days, those conditions occur every year. The lightning strikes don’t always happen, but you get bad days every season, it’s just a matter if a fire starts or not and also depending on where it starts. But the fire starting in the parks made it difficult to get on top of quickly for several reasons.
We have had our firefighter serviced and repaired recently. It’s good to go and ready and I feel prepared for the season. Somewhat.”