Fantastic , who'd a thunk it? We have gone from one extreme to the other- Fires to Floods - definitely and Aussie summer.  Last year at Wild Mountains we recorded about 500ml of rain for the whole year. This month we have had about half that amount fall, about 250ml, in the first three weeks of the year!

For Wild Mountains, we started to think about fires last year in August, with no appropriate time to do any back burns we watched the countryside dry out. Then fires started, close to us were the first over at Binna Burra, Beechmont, and Canungra where friends were evacuated, lost there homes and the Binna Burra Lodge.  Then we watched the fires in the national park behind Mt Barney burn for three weeks before they were reported in the news. Severe fires have resulted in house's lost, people lost and the death of more than one billion native animals across Australia and has had profound impacts on millions of hectares of wildlife habitat.



We are so lucky. Lucky that we were able to call on our local community and 30 volunteers helped prepare the centre for fire. Lucky we had the resources, equipment and understandings to respond to the situation. Lucky that the wind changed direction... That was all through October. Then we got the first substantial rain...63ml christmas eve. Wahoo.

But fire season still had a surprise. Fire is beautiful, necessary and dangerous. We received a call from the fire chief in Rathdowney and a neighbour that a spot fire had started just next to Geordies ( ont he property that the house Richard and Susan Zoomers, co- founders of Wild Mountains along with Geoffrey Smith(1955-2017), have almost finished building). We responded effectively with 5 Wild Mountains crew in fire gear, back burning, wetting down and assessing the situation. Thankfully the fire brigade attended the fire and together the blaze was under control within 2 hours.

  

(general article) Australian ecologist explains just how bad the fires are for wildlife- https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2020/1/9/21057375/australia-fire-wildlife-extinctions-ecology?fbclid=IwAR0kbW2BHl_TtIXrPyQVDTefBnPt2i0YWQmqW2Hu-RLTJg0i8x22mTsU5Ec


 
(Above Wedge tailed eagle and Female Glossy black seen after fires)


Thanks to those generous people who donated time and money to our fire fighting efforts, also for the well wishes in the many emails. With your support from afar we are fully fire responsive. We have maintained and purchased fire equipment and had the means to be able to respond to the threat. We had supplies and PPE to feed and support volunteers in protecting this land and buildings we all love. Please help us reach more kids and community with necessary education and understandings for tomorrows leaders by continuing or starting to contribute in time by volunteering or with any monthly $ amount. To take it from Margret Mead " Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."