Personally, we have been blessed. We had a fire north, south and west of us for the week. On Saturday evening, the northern fire, which caused so much devastation in and around Batemans Bay, got to within 7ks of us, before the wind came round to the south with predicted speeds of up to 80km/h. That was when it became scary enough for us to relocate to the evacuation centre in town.
The wind did not eventuate and the danger passed for our area. There has been mass loss of homes, businesses, and industry, but fortunately only 3 poor souls lost their lives around here.
The efforts put in by the thousands of volunteers throughout the country, not only the actual fire fighters, but those in the support agencies, in the Evacuation centres, those on traffic control, the list is as endless as their dedication. This cannot be acknowledged highly enough. Thank you!
I guess it remains to be seen how well the financial assistance is distributed to those in need. We can but hope it is done properly. I know from personal experience that when the fires went through the Rappville area in early October, the Casino Golf Club started an appeal. The funds raised were put into a pool and was/is being distributed to all those on the Fire Victims Register, by way of vouchers at local businesses and the like.
As the old TV commercial said "What Aye mess Mr. Hart."
Lets hope that when you can get back in and remove the remains of the building, you will find that a lot can be restored. It will be a huge job but I am sure that all the volunteers will find it worthwhile to repair one machine at a time and show that the fire did not beat you!
I have my shoulder to the wheel,
my nose to the grindstone,
I've put my best foot forward,
I've put my back into it,
I'm gritting my teeth,
Thanks for the messages of support and encouragement.
Once we have to go ahead, we have been made the offer of a 20ton excavator with a grab, to lift the roof off to allow us to get in and sort things out. Not locked in yet, but at this stage, the plan is to hire a container or two to store everything for the time being until we can assess what can be saved and what will be disposed of. No rush.
It will take a long time, as with most clubs, funds are very limited.
In my reply to your first post re Sam McPaul being killed in the Fire Truck accident, you referred to him being in the rear of the truck. Being a close personal friend of Sam and his family, we had been informed that he was in the cab at the time and I posted as such.
However, yesterday, prior to his funeral, I had the opportunity to speak with the NSW Bush Fire Commissioner who told us he was in fact in the back of the truck, along with another fire fighter. The truck was travelling on a grass paddock when it was picked up and turned upside down by a "vortex wind" and dumped back exactly beside where it was lifted from. The Police investigation photos show the wheel marks where the truck was before being lifted, right beside where it landed.