Which in turn led to every man and his dog in this part of the world dropping matches with the intent of clearing paddocks of spent, dead grass, much accumulated due to the bountiful wet season of 2010/11. As smoke billowed in every direction, my hands too began to itch, and I set about burning just a small patch of the horse paddock, to provide them with some fresh green pick.
As the flames roared and the wind howled and Matthew drove somewhere between Longreach and Blackall (some six hundred kilometres to my west), I began to wonder if I'd done the right thing. As my small patch of horse paddock fast became the entire horse paddock, the flames then engulfed the bull paddock and I decided the best course of action was to head to town to pick the kids up from tennis lessons. When it comes to the fight or flight response, I'm all about the fleeing. Upon our return, I was rather
With power now cut to the house, the flames at least provided a comforting glow. As I imagined the level of dismay my southern neighbour would experience if fire approached his breeder paddock, I finally succumbed and rang Matthew. He was less than comforting. He did drive home, not so much to provide reassurance and support, but more to remind me of the rules of fire-safety and the hazards of careless actions. For which I was most grateful. It was just what I needed.
Twenty-four hours and countless tut-tuts from Ergon's finest later, power was returned. Albeit rather short-lived, with some careless actions from a grazier to our south causing a power-pole to burn out, cutting supply to the entire northern line. Such carelessness!
I'm sending Matthew over tomorrow to run through the rules and regs of Fire Safety, Prevention & Protection.