For the past week I have been woken at 5:30 every morning by the eye-stinging, acrid smell of smoke. When I get up to check the house I don't see early morning mist but the haze of smoke from this. It's coming up to Christmas so it's Bushfire season. The same storm that zapped the phone lines last Monday initiated this blaze. The fire is a large one to the north west of us; it is not under control and there is a strong, hot nor'westerly wind due this afternoon.
We are not in an especially vulnerable position as our house is not on a ridge or at the end of a long ribbon of road as many properties in the Mountains are, but we're still cleaning out the gutters, clearing away any garden refuse and checking the rainwater tank. (Must get a pump for it.)
Depending on which way the wind is blowing the smoke creates an eerie orange light that even the residents of the inner west and coastal suburbs of Sydney are all too familiar with. The smell of smoke and stinging eyes are a constant presence as are the water bomb helicopters flying overhead and the Rural Fire trucks racing up and down the highway.