I am particularly thinking of some people in our little country town who have been heroes this week. You see, we are in drought conditions here, with no rain forecast and windy conditions. The countryside is scorched brown, there are water shortages and feed for the farm animals is scarce.
Three days ago a scrub fire broke out on the shores of the harbour near here. It took hold in the night and swept through conservation land. Since then, many hectares have burnt. Helicopters with monsoon buckets were brought in to drop water on the flames. Fire fighters had been actively fighting the fire for two days, and once it was brought under control yesterday, they've been dampening down hotspots, dealing with flare-ups and keeping watch over the area.
The fire fighters in our town are all volunteers. When the emergency siren goes, they leave their jobs or homes, whatever time of the day or night, to rush to the fire station and go where needed - to a vehicle accident, to a medical emergency, to a fire.
These last few days for them have been extra hot, stressful, tiring and dangerous. I am so grateful that we have such volunteers in our area.