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On Tuesday 8th January 2013, a bushfire tore through the Kybeyan Valley in New South Wales, destroying the landscape, the livestock and any immediate plans we had for the future.

Very few in the Valley have been untouched but our property, Baroonga, and our neighbours to the west took the brunt of it.

Not content with taking most of our land on that Tuesday, the fire went through a few hundred acres again on the night of Thursday 10 January.

Over a thousand sheep gone, 90% of grazing land gone, not one fence unaffected. Overnight our world changed.

The one thing that is getting us through right now is the generosity and kindness of our friends, family, neighbours and the wider rural community. The day after the fire, people just started turning up with food, equipment, feed for the livestock, donations and a helping hand. My father was in a shop the other day and someone just pressed $40 into his hand. We believe we have a future, but it means a lot to us that others believe we do too.

We know we are not alone in facing Mother Nature’s quirks. Bushfires have claimed land, homes and lives throughout New South Wales and, in stark contrast, our northern neighbours are fighting floods!

Right now though, our focus must be here on an intimidating number of challenges. We’re still dealing with the aftermath, coping, trying to stay sane, living on adrenaline.

So, why start a blog in the middle of a crisis?

We know we won’t get through this without the support of others. This blog answers the questions we have been asked by family, friends and the many kind people we have met over the last three weeks … the same questions we are asking ourselves:

  • What’s gone, what’s left? See WHAT WE KNOW, WHAT WE DON’T
  • What do we have to do today, tomorrow, next week, next month?
  • What help do we need?
  • How can people help? See PITCH IN
  • How can we help others affected?

Emma, Justin and Bill

29 January 2013


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