Before the beginning of summer in my rural patch, which is the picturesque hills of the Central Tablelands of NSW. We experienced a one in a hundred year rain event. It just rained. And rained. And rained. More rain fell in November than in almost the whole year to date.
When it ended, our paddocks were lush and green. As they were for as far as the eye could see. Lusher than we can ever remember.
January started with a heat wave. That doesn’t seem to end. First it was day after day in the low 30C’s. Then the mid 30’s.
February morphed into even hotter temperatures. High 30C’s. Low 40C’s. Culminating in a week of 46C at 2pm. In the shade. Almost every afternoon.
This past Sunday was Catastrophic Sunday. The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) predicted it would be a day of unprecedented fires. Which it was.
The Sir Ivan’s fire between Dunedoo and Leadville burnt out 50,000 hectares. Destroyed 23 homes. Some of them irreplaceable historic homes and woolsheds. And brought catastrophic death to wildlife. And farm animals.
Friends not far from there were put on full alert by the NSWRFS. The phone call came to say, get your bags packed. And be ready to leave in an instant. Which they were. Including their kitty kept in her pet cage so she couldn’t escape.
It was extremely stressful for them. One change in the wind direction, and the fire would head straight for them.
You had to be living in a cave not to have knowledge of that fire. And the devastating effect on personal lives. And property.
The paddock grasses are a tinder box. They are tall. Burnt to a crisp by the heat. And growing in a landscape that is now completely devoid of moisture due to the prolonged extreme heat. They are literally a wick, soaked in petrol, waiting for a spark to ignite them.
Just two days later, why does a rural fencing contractor, who knows the conditions, take his angle grinder into a parched paddock, on a day of a total fire ban, and use it?
Every angle grinder sparks. It’s the nature of the process.
And. Of course. It did spark. Those sparks spread like wildfire in the tall, burnt to a crisp grass, that was a wick soaked in petrol. Waiting for the spark to ignite it. And burnt 300 hectares. Brought horrific death to native wildlife. As well as farm animals loved by their owners.
It took the volunteers of 10 NSWRFS brigades 41 hours to bring that fire under control. Many of them my neighbours. As well as aerial water bombing.
That fire wasn’t that far away from us. And as with the Leadville fire, all it would take was a change in the wind direction, and it would have been at our front door within an hour.
I’ve no doubt this rural fencing contractor is shaken. And deeply sorry for the sorrow he’s caused.
This isn’t a premeditated act. Or intentional.
But neither is it an accident. He knows the side effects of angle grinders. My partner, Victor Pleshev, the architect who designed the Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover, uses one. And I’ve seen the sparks it creates. Almost like a 4th of July sparkler.
This rural fencer knows the parched conditions of the land.
He would have known about the Leadville catastrophe.
This fire was completely preventable.
We run our business, The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies, from our remote rural property. Our whole life is wrapped up in this property. Our business. Our memories. Our personal belongings.
He put all that in jeopardy. Not only for us. But for all our neighbours who are in the same boat.
We don’t have enough water to ‘stay and fight’. In times of fire threats, we are committed to leaving the property rather than risk our own lives. And those of our pets.
I can think of nothing more devastating than returning to blackened ruins. Losing everything. For the second time.
I don’t know if he will be charged. Or not. The fire wasn’t lit intentionally. But he is not supposed to be using dangerous equipment that sparks on a total no fire ban day. But if he is charged. Or in some way held responsible for what happened. I won’t be sympathetic.
He recklessly put the lives of the surrounding community in danger. And for that he should be held responsible.
Your thoughts? Email me at the bottom of this post.
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva?
PS. This Ironing Diva’s iron. Ironing Board. And Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover. Are my gateway to leading an elegant life. There is power in the iron. The ‘Joy Of Ironing’ is far from a myth. Beautifully pressed garments. Make a statement about who you are. When you’re well pressed. And well dressed. You ooze elegance. Beautifully pressed linen. Cloth napkins. Tea towels. Pillow cases. Make your home shimmer with style.
PPS. I am not only an Ironing Diva. But as one friend says, I am ‘The Queen’ when it comes to ironing.
I Am The Purveyor Of The Tantrum Free Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
Made with love and care in RURAL Australia by men and women who have a disability.
It’s not for everyone.
But it’s definitely for you if you’re fussy about the cover you iron on.
And if you love to support Australian made.
And want to put something back into the community when you make a purchase.
The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover cover has more than 350,000 customers in 29 countries. Because it lives up to its name. It ‘Fitz Like A Glove™’ every time you iron.
And these are the ‘Other Goodies’
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Have a question? Email me at the bottom of this post.
Or phone me, Carol Jones, in rural Australia on 02 63 588 511.
Photos of my rural property are courtesy of me, Ironing Diva – who is also known as Paddock Paparazzi – and taken at sunrise every morning.
Blue Hills. With A Golden Glow.
PS. And I have a monthly newsletter ‘Tips. And Tricks. That Make Life Easier’. You can subscribe to it below. It’s FREE! This is not a lifetime commitment. You can Unsubscribe at any time.
Hills. Early Morning Light.