Thanks to all the friends and family who've been ringing, texting and emailing (although we only just got the power back after nearly 24hrs without.)
To those of you in Australia that heard about the Beechworth fire - it started about 300m from our property about 6:30pm. We lost power about 6pm and have since found from a neighbour (who reported the fire) that it was sparked by a downed power line in grass. It's now burned over 22,500 hectares. Bloody scary stuff. We went out several times between 6 and 6:30 and saw and smelt nothing. Then Jerry opened the front door and bang! smoke and visible flames and then firetrucks came.
We had filled our gutters in the morning, and had done a tidy up and filled the fire pump as it was going to be such a bad day.
Jerry's never moved so fast! He was out, on with the sprinklers and got the fire pump going (I am so happy we had that to run the water, plus the tanks on the hill so we still had water). I got my gear on and was out putting other sprinklers on. Luckily the wind was blowing away from us so it didn't jump the road to our place, but frankly it's as close as we want to get. We also learned some useful things to adjust our fire plan. We've had power back for an hour or so now, but it's still tense as the fire is moving towards the other side of town, and you just can't be sure what the wind will do. Our road is still closed, and crews are working blacking out and keeping an eye on burning stumps. It is also very smokey.
But so far we are on alert, but safe, and in no immediate danger unless the winds reverse directions. We are VERY grateful that we are no worse off - many, many others have not been so lucky (50 is the latest death toll), and it's not over yet.
Here's some pics: but there are many more on flikr here:
This morning - standing at the bottom of our road. The pic on the left shows our main paddock, the one on the right I turned 180 degrees, so you can see it was pretty darn close!
Trees stumps were burning after 12 hours
See more photos on flikr here