Sun Smoke Screen

Picture of the Day 32: smoke over Wagga

2013-01-08 12.29.11

Yesterday, other than work, I did one thing successfully: fail to go to Wagga.

I got there all right, but around Borambola the smoke started building to the west, and by time I made it to Wagga, turning around and going home was sounding like a swell idea. Fire rating for our part of the state ranged from extreme to catastrophic. There were a few fires out of control between Wagga and Tumut, the biggest at Tarcutta, which is about halfway. It occurred to me as it should have an hour earlier that I could easily be cut off from Tumut, from Sax and my family. Not only that, but we cut off on the side the fires were the worst.

Well, that would suck.

With this in mind, I texted my friend to say I couldn’t meet him (another day, Ben!), found the highest hill in the vicinity, parked badly in a bad spot and took a couple of photos. The sky was hazy purple blue where it wasn’t white with smoke. The tumbleweeds were thick across the road in Kooringal and Forest Hill. The place looked dry as dust. Ready to combust. I loaded this ass in the car and got the hell out.

2013-01-08 12.40.40

2013-01-08 12.40.51

Note in the top picture you can see the density of smoke on the street. I could have driven around and gotten better photos… but right then my priority was getting back to my side of the mountains. As I left Wagga behind, the smoke grew thicker on the south. A fire truck went around me, and I kept it in sight until the Mates Gully turn-off to Tarcutta, where the smoke billowed tall into the sky, the colour of a bruise.

Yep. Uh huh. Yep. I really could have gotten a good photo of it. But I knew that fire was out of control from the rural fire brigade website that morning, and so I kept on pushing the Mazda down the highway. The smoke from the Tarcutta fire followed me all the way to Tumut. Satisfied I was a good forty kilometres out of the way, I stopped outside Tumut to watch the smoke pouring through the Gilmore Valley…

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2013-01-08 13.36.58

2013-01-08 13.37.15

Poor sheep!

So that was my unsuccessful trip to Wagga. It was followed by an afternoon of heavy winds, luckily blowing the fires away from us, and the Mates Gully fire is now under control. Exciting stuff! I wish the bushfire season was over already!


About Anneque Machelle

Anneque Machelle finds the best in indie sci-fi - so you don't have to. Her background in biology, engineering and fiction writing give her a Geiger counter to find the most radioactive underground hits this side of Pripyat.
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