After so long without decent rain, the seemingly perpetual heatwave and the horrific bushfires across Australia, the weekend rain was very welcome. I’m not sure how much we got here, but it was great and made a huge difference to the grounds at work (I’m the Head Gardener). More of course is needed, but it was a most welcome start to ending the drought – which hopefully will be the case.
Over the last couple of days a terrible, horrific bushfire has impacted on the Warrumbungle National Park, Siding Springs Observatory, 33 homes and numerous rural buildings near Coonabarabran in New South Wales, Australia. The bushfire is believed to have burnt out some 500 000 hectares and now has a fire front of over 100km in length.
Obviously the fire is a terrible tragedy for the people living in the region, as well as the natural wonder that is the Warrumbungle National Park. This fire was started by lightning strikes in a major heatwave currently being experienced in Australia. The tinder dry conditions and gale force hot winds have fanned the blaze and even now as I write, the bushfire is again threatening homes in the region and is expected to burn for weeks.
The Warrumbungle National Park is one of my favourite places in Australia and I have visited the region many times. It is a sad and tragic disaster in more ways than one.
On Friday I was visiting the Bulahdelah Cemetery in order to photograph headstones for my family history research. I decided to go up to Bulahdelah after work, it being only a short journey from Tea Gardens.
What I had noticed over the last week or so was that as the temperature had begun to rise so the number of bushfires and controlled burns had increased around the area dramatically. In fact, there have been quite a lot of bushfires burning around the area. Though this photo was taken on Friday, bushfires are continuing to burn around the place, driven by the very strong winds and dry conditions that currently exist. There is a massive fire burning over toward Nelson Bay by the look of it, as there are huge plumes of smoke in that direction.
This photo was taken from the Bulahdelah Cemetery toward Alum Mountain, where the fire was burning. The air throughout the area, from Tea Gardens to Bulahdelah, was full of smoke and there was a thick smoke haze. I wouldn’t say the air was choking, but every breath certainly had the taste of summer upon it.