Will the fires lead us to a proper mourning?
Before 2019 I had never realised that fire has a voice, a growl, a howl. People compare it to the sound of a freight train. I don’t. I have never heard anything like the earth-shattering roar that came from the fire headed towards me and my NSW Rural Fire Service strike team as we tried to hold the containment line we had built over the previous twelve hours. It was midnight and the megafire was thundering and rolling through the valley below us, the sound punctuated by the exploding crash of massive gum trees falling to the ground. But above the roar and the crash, with a score all its own, was the nervous twitter of hundreds of birds that should have been sleeping and the whinnying of frantic horses up the hill from our line.
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