Jan 3, 2020: Childhood Beach Devastated By Fire

Fire strikes near Rosedale Beach

Fire strikes near Rosedale Beach

Readers will be well aware of the catastrophic fire situation around Australia at the moment. So far the Greeny Flat has been spared the worst of it although there is a big fire burning not far away. Tomorrow is predicted to be a very hot and windy day so we are in a high state of alert. Meanwhile the fires have affected many people and places that we know and love. My brother’s house narrowly escaped the blaze at Bawley Point a month ago. Good friends just to the north of us lost their pottery business and barely escaped with their lives and their home. Other dear friends were forced to evacuate from their holiday house at Rosedale on the south coast before it was overrun by fire.

This was particularly distressing for me and my family because, for my whole childhood, we had a holiday shack at Rosedale. Every year we used to spend many weeks relaxing, surfing and playing on the beach and in the surrounding bushland. We know the place intimately and it holds a very special place in our hearts. So it was heart-wrenching to watch the horrible scenes in the video in this article that appeared in The Guardian yesterday,

Thankfully no-one was injured as far as we know but reports are that 50 houses were lost in the little community. Our hearts go out to all those who have lost homes in these fires. Unfortunately this fire season is far from over and tomorrow is likely to be another shocking day.

The Greeny Flat and the house next to it are not surrounded by bushland but there is bush not far away. We’ve deliberately kept the area around the houses clear of trees and shrubs and there are almost no combustible materials on the outside of the buildings. We also designed and built the homes to be relatively fire resistant with metal roofs and wall claddings, metal flysceens on the windows, aluminium frames to the windows, etc. So we feel fairly confident that these houses will survive if and when the fire eventually gets here. But, if it comes to that, we won’t be here to see what happens. Our plan is to take our valuables, evacuate to safe ground and hope for the best. That could happen tomorrow, next week or next month but the way this fire season is going, it seems bound to happen sooner or later.

We’ll let you know what happens when it does.

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