Thursday started as normal, breakfast, tidy house, most important-- Sparkpeople :).
I made hubby and I lunch at noon (Bec had gone to meet a friend, Tim was at work), wasn't very hungry... goodie...putting the dishes on the bench, I glanced up and saw smoke lots of smoke, dark grey and menacing, We knew there was a spot fire about 30 mins away and that FESA had sent out the fire men to put out the blaze.
But this one was so close to us the dark clouds filled the sky and I scanned for the tell tale white clouds that meant the firemen were pouring water on it. There was some but not a great deal.
I went into the office and started putting the company books on a memory stick and gathering the books for the accountant as tax time for us is May. With two boxes filled, I went back to the window and checked--still lots of dark smoke. Worry rose in my mind as we only have one exit in our area, so I was tossing up the advantage of leaving NOW or getting more things together.
My mind went into priority mode, 1. paperwork-done 2. Cat in box, food, water and litter (you all know how soft I am so in went his'sheepie' too (fave toy). 3. clothes for 4 people, shoes, toiletries, glasses ( I told you before I'm old).
Just then hubby comes racing in (it was about 10 mins between 1 and 3). He had an sms from the fire brigade --IF YOU ARE STILL AT YOUR PROPERTY LEAVE NOW YOUR LIVES ARE AT RISK!!!.
Worry was now panic, never having faced afire head on I went into over drive and grabbed all the washing I had just put on beds that morning
---Tim must have his hair gel, boots, a change of work clothes, couldn't lift his computer so had to give that idea away but it is his prize possession;
Bec?... easy... lots of clothes, toiletries, her skull Back story:- Bec and Tim are going to Comicon this year in Perth, tickets are purchased and they are having cocktails with Richard Dean Anderson (she jumps up and down and screams every time she thinks of it-wonderful to be so excited about life), they can have something autographed so she thought her skull would be appropriate (don't ask me I'm just the Mum) it will be around a long time.
When we finally met up she saw it in the car and was so pleased ("oh no I said I couldn't find the tickets!!!" hubby piped up with "I got them" so great minds ...)
Had an arm load of things (still at home now) and hubby says "come on that's it we have to leave you drive your car" I said " but I haven't got the keys" he said " they are in your hand!!"
The main highway is closed so we agreed to meet down at the local town and then when we can get Bec on her mobile we arrange to meet at a suburb further out. We are both low on petrol to start out, but it will have to do.
The smoke is ominously close and still very dark, gratitude for the men and women fire-ies who run to the fires and risk their lives for others floods over me.
It's a long story sorry no photos to break it up :(
We meet at arranged place, Tim will stay at work as highway now fully closed, (up north they are having floods and trucks had to line the highway waiting to get needed supplies to the sufferees up North.),
and try to get to his friends house to sleep---he wasn't home so Tim slept at work!!!!
There was ash falling from the sky even 40 mins away...
We went to a friends with a now very hot (36 deg c that day and windy) cat and two people looking over their shoulders to the hill we are leaving.
We stayed, planning to sleep over but the updates offered the news we may be allowed back home so we went an hour on the out-of-the-way route- to get closer.
But the police had blocked the roads, we couldn't move again as we were so close ( and we were so tired by then) so we slept in the three cars along with our neighbours all around us. About 3 inthe morning the road block diminished and we got a bit closer moving up the road, with the promise of "another couple of hours", in total we were in the car about 14 hours.!!!
One of the firemen who lived by us joined the ' roadies' and was told he couldn't get home either. He slept in his car and went back to the brigade in the morning...amazing man...
There were over 200 firemen from the top to the bottom of West Australia who converged on our little town (3000 people -maybe 8-10000 animals, horses,sheep, cows, dogs etc)
They came, they fought alongside each other with helitacs, planes , graders to make fire breaks, working 12 hour shifts. Amazing great people.
WE had an old lady offer us water for our cat, (I bought her some cold water before Bec left to take the cat to the vet as he wasn't doing so well in the car).
The vet took him in and kept him calm and cool for the afternoon -it's Friday by now---I went to the local hotel, booked a room and begged to be able to have him in the bathroom so he could cool down.
The Manager was happy to help. She came back a few hours later and said the hotel was offering to provide dinner to residents if we wanted to add our names to the bookings.
WE heard last night- Friday at midnight the cordons had finally been lifted and Bec and Phoenix and hubby went home. I stayed and went home this morning, tired , happy, tired, exhausted, did I say tired???
When I was packing up to leave our home on Thursday I had a flash of what will it be like to have none of this 'stuff' left if it burns? It is not a nice thought. It was lovely to arrive home and see the house and everything safe.
No one lost their life we are told and no homes were lost. Amazing as FESA announced it was the worst fire in this area they had seen.
Tim will be home after lunch, boy will he smell!!!!
PS Fire was started by a train - one of the wheels was jammed and spread sparks along the tracks on its way up north. Three very large fires were fought and 'vanquished'.
So there you have it, thanks to my Country Living Team members who sent messages and prayers. I'm going to get some sleep and get back to your amazing blogs ---can't wait to see how you are going.