The weather conditions changed last night when a southerly change brought winds of 80kmh. The strong wind lasted for just over an hour. I was showered with burnt debris and ash however there were no glowing embers. I was very fortunate that the prior light NW wind did not spread the fire on the north side of the Shoalhaven river, east of Tapitalee. With the arrival of strong southerly winds, the fire front raced up the hill through Budgong and through just west of the village of Kangaroo Valley. The ash and debris fallout that I experienced was probably from fires still burning on the south side of the Shoalhaven river rather than from where the fire crossed the river. I am not a coffee drinker, however last night I had several strong cups to ensure I did not fall asleep while my wife and I took turns at patrolling outside in the thick acrid smoke to ensure nothing had caught fire.
My immediate neighbour left home last night in a panic and now cannot return as Police have closed Moss Vale Rd. I am not sure when the road will open so I cannot leave as I will also be barred by the bully boys from returning home. I fail to see what joy authorities get from preventing home owners from accessing their property. It appears to me that it is the case of little boys putting on a man’s underpants and thinking they are there to exert their authority.
Unfortunately a friend of my wife’s lost her house at Tapitallee to the fire last night.
On another sad note a local facebook group started patrols of their immediate area to check on neighbours and property that had been vacated. They caught a couple of low life’s looting a vacated fire damaged property. And in another case a low life posed as an RFS fire fighter and door knocked at Milton telling people they must evacuate. He then attempted to rob the properties, but was caught in the act. Others in safe areas have opened their houses to strangers in need of accommodation. Events like this certainly bring out the best in some people and the worst in others.
With regards to my property that I am currently building on in Bodalla it is ok. I know that 12 homes were lost to the west of me in forested areas. The main fire front passed about 1km to the south of me and headed for Dalmeny and Narooma. The southerly wind change then blew the fire back to Bodalla and that is apparently when the homes were lost. My neighbour advised no homes have been lost in our street and the fire is currently nearby but under control provided winds do not increase.
So far, I feel like I have dodged two bullets. I still have power and internet services and have not suffered any property damage. Many areas that have not been impacted directly by fire have no phone, internet or power and no access or food. My only inconvenience is that my house, cars and property is covered with black ash. The covering of the water in my pool by the ash looks strange. So a little cleaning up to do today after a sleep. However I cannot relax. A change in winds and temperature could see the fire turn back towards me. Some areas in the southern Shoalhaven that had previously been attacked by the fire were attacked again yesterday. But for the moment I am not in any immediate danger.