Bushfire lessons

It has been little over a month since the devastating Cudlee Creek bushfire took hold of the Hills.
With the dust now settling and the danger of flare ups subsiding, the community is beginning to survey the full cost and horror of those disastrous December days.
We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. But like many places, that beauty comes at a cost. For us, that cost is the ongoing risk of bushfires.
That risk may never be erased, but we’ve proven to be a community that is resilient and that cares deeply about each other and our natural surrounds.
We’re a community that has and will continue to learn from past experiences – something that was so evident through the hundreds of people who were prepared for the fire and acted upon their bushfire survival plans – whether that was to stay and fight or to leave.
It was evident through the way the information about the fire was effectively communicated across the Hills – through the media, the internet and the Government – giving the community time to leave or to prepare to stay and fight.
But even with the best planning, risk can never be fully eliminated and at times loss is unavoidable.
Any loss of life is absolutely devastating and the loss of Ron Selth will be felt long into the future.
But even as the community mourns that loss, we are thankful that there were not more.
Nature has dealt a cruel blow.
But it is not a death blow for our community.
The lessons we have already learned from past tragedies may have already saved lives or properties during this fire and from this fire we will continue to learn.
We will rebuild and we will recover.
Recovery will be a long, slow road and the strength and community spirit that has been so evident over the past month will play a vital role in that process.
So let’s use this tragedy to create communities that are stronger, closer and more resilient.
Let’s create communities that pick up the pieces together and learn from the mistakes and from the successes.
Let’s create communities that know and care for their vulnerable members, that support each other during the lows and celebrate during the highs.