On Tuesday night however the wind got up and by the next morning it was gale force from the north west gusting between 60 and 100km/hr.
The Mt. Kingiman Fire (as it became known) came howling out of the mountains towards the town of Ulladulla and its southern suburbs.
We could see smoke to our north but thankfully we were not in the direct path of the fire.
An emergency situation was declared and rural properties to our west plus the suburbs of Kings Point and Burrill Lake were ordered to evacuate. The fire was spotting kilometers ahead of itself into those suburbs. The town was filled with smoke.
So water bombing helicopters were in the air (how difficult flying conditions were in that wind?) and hundreds of Rural Fire Service volunteers were on the ground.
It was a nerve racking day.
By nightfall 1500ha (3750acres) had been burnt but there had been no loss of life or property. The RFS as usual did an amazing job.
The wind dropped overnight and allowed some containment.
But today winds are predicted to be moderate so some flare ups can be expected.
The drought has made New South Wales a tinderbox. The fire map shows how many are burning along the entire coast line.
|The Mt. Kingiman Fire NSW Fire Map|
No rain is predicted for the near future so we will have to be continually on alert.
For two days the winds dropped which allowed firefighters to contain the fire and back burn.
However yesterday the winds got up again and we went into another emergency status.
The fire broke through containment lines and continued its journey to the coast.
Somehow it was again contained by the efforts of those on the ground and in the air.
But it came at a cost. Sadly one of the helicopters crashed killing the very experienced pilot.
Today is also predicted to be windy.
Unless we get rain soon then I think this will be the daily pattern.
So far the fire has burnt out 2200ha (5500 acres).
|Exhausted Firefighter Photo: J.Hanscombe, Milton Ulladulla Times|
The fire is still smouldering but under control. The forecasted rain that would put the fire out has not materialised. Light ineffective showers have been the order of the day. The bushfire season has been officially declared a month early.
This summer could be nasty.