I have been to a community meeting this evening in our local Mechanics Institute to learn about what has happened in the Shire since Monday and what may occur tomorrow if things do not go well. It was crowded with locals, many of whom I had never seen before, andrepresentatives from the DSE, CFA, Community Services, and Police, together with the CEO, Mayor and Councillors from the Shire – perhaps in a cynical moment one might say their presence was a political move, however it was good to see them and know of their concerns for the Shire residents.
The fire near Daylesford has been contained, however the DSE man spoke of areas that are still smoking and likely to reignite when the winds come tomorrow. They toldof all the fire fighters, machinery, tankers, planes and helicopters that have been used so far, and will be redeployed again tomorrow to keep watch or do battle if needed. In addition to the volunteers and professional fire fighters from around here, 70+ more are coming in tonight from the ACT to assist. The main concerns for tomorrow relate to the high temperatures forecast, the direction of very strong winds (up to 55kms at times) and the likelihood of dry lightening strikes that may start something in the tinder dry forest. We were all advised again to make a rational decision tonight about what we will do tomorrow if the fire takes off – leave the area early if not prepared or able to defend one’s home, and only stay if your property is well prepared and you have both the equipment and a good supply of water. At this stage our decision is to remain and defend from ember attack, but to go if the situation makes it necessary. My car is packed, valuables are now elsewhere, the dogs are safely kennelled, and I am as ready as possible.