“Three quarters of a stretched out hour later we finally reached the top of the ridge that overlooked my valley. The sun should have risen by then, but everything was still dark due to the fat cloud of smoke blanketing the world. The only thing visible was an eerie glow from behind the next hill, a little to the north. The air was so sharp that it hurt to breathe. The fire was definitely headed our way, and despite the length of time it had taken us to reach the ridge, I knew that the fire would race its way back to our farm much faster. Worse than even that horrific thought, however, was the realisation that the valley below me was about to be decimated. The wind whipped the trees into a wild frenzy as if they knew what was coming and were trying to uproot and run away. They had more chance of leaving than I did, and I was terrified.”
Sadly, this scene in Chapter 21 of Songlines is no longer purely fiction. The latest reports estimate that over a million hectares have been burnt and 31 fires are still burning. At least 110 homes have been confirmed lost, 220 outbuildings destroyed and four people remain unaccounted for in East Gippsland. And that’s just in my home state of Victoria.
The impact these fires will have on our unique wildlife is unthinkable. And to the farmers who feed our nation…my heart cries for you. I could go on and on about all the stories that have come out of this crisis; the stories of hope, courage, the ones that try to lay blame and the ones that try to find real solutions. Those stories are all out there for you to read if you want to (just don’t bother with the ones that say the Greenies oppose back-burning. Those lies aren’t worth anyone’s time). Those stories aren’t what this post is about. This one is simple. This one is about raising money for the CFA (Victorian Country Fire Authority). This post is in support of a Twitter auction under the tag #AuthorsForFireys . It’s a simple way you can raise money to go to where it’s needed most, and grab yourself some incredible rewards at the same time.
For more information, visit https://authorsforfireys.wixsite.com/website
My contribution to this auction is a signed set of the Sentinels of Eden four book series, posted to the highest bidder. To bid, reply to this twitter thread by 11pm AEDT on 11th Jan and the highest bid at that time wins. I will message the winner directly, who will pay the funds directly to the CFA and send me a receipt.