Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Fire Ravaged Our Beautiful Region

We have travelled through the fire ravaged region in Tasmania's south for the first time. We do this route often to get to our fabulous holiday spot, but this time the view and the feelings they brought, were very sombre indeed. It has been two weeks since the fires started, so we knew this drive would be different, but were interested to see the extent of the damage first hand, having only seen news coverage and pictures on social media.  

After a kilometre or so into the devastated region, we had seen more than enough. Unfortunately the horrid scenery lasted nearly an hour, as the effect of the fire is so widespread, and the speed limit has been reduced due to the many area were repair is still ongoing on the sides of the road to the power lines, fences, guides posts and signage and burnt trees in danger of falling onto the road.  

The telltale signs of the fire started not far south of Sorell. There were many more animals housed in each paddock, where they had been brought to safety. Then came the singed paddocks and trees. This quickly elevated to burned treeline for as far as the eye could see.  There was the occasional remains of a home which could not avoid the fury of the fire. It was quite amazing to see the homes where the fire had gone right up to the door, yet, through massive efforts to save the home, or through sheer luck, the house is still standing, unscathed.

The story changed dramatically once we reached the township of Dunally. Home after home has been ravaged by the fire. The district school is gone, along with several other businesses. Many of these buildings were quite old, as is evident by the style of the chimneys, which are the only things still standing.

Our holiday spot was not reached by these fires, so this horrid vision is the only effect on us. We are very fortunate, compared to those whose homes have been lost, those who were trapped on the peninsula, those who fled to safety, those who lost power, and those who gave their time to help.

It was a horrible episode in Tasmania's history, but thankfully, no lives were lost as a direct result of these fires. Quite a miracle considering the ground covered and the buildings destroyed.
The slow procession of cars travelling to the Tasman Peninsula.


What is left of the Dunally Bakery



The hill behind Eagle Hawk Neck