The time there was a fire by Liesl Pfeffer


Hill End, NSW
February 2018

One Saturday afternoon whilst gazing out my studio window lost in thought, I noticed smoke in the distance, glowing red where it touched the horizon. For the first time in my life I called the fire brigade, knowing this was peak summer, peak fire season in the bush. Turned out the fire was 18 km away, which is little comfort when you live in a town that's at the end of a single lane road through the bush, an hour's drive from anything. But also comforting, because that's still a long way, long enough to be able to have a plan to get out early. So I hiked up to my favourite look out and watched the smoke for a while, and for the rest of the weekend I constantly monitored the NSW Rural Fire Department's Fires Near Me website. Blackened leaves fell down on the town, but nothing worse reached us, and the sunsets were especially beautiful for a few days.