I listened to the news last night, at about 11, and they said that around more 30 houses had burnt down in Canberra. This morning, the current count is 368 houses that have been destroyed.
They said that the city was blanketed in smoke blowing down from the alpine region - I figured it would be the same as a few days ago. I stepped outside, and there was smoke; not just in the sky, but on the ground. I couldn't make details out on buildings 20 minutes walk away. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that the fires were in the city itself.
It's so smokey out that people with respitory ailments (that's me) are supposed to stay indoors and keep their medication on hand. People are being advised to avoid any stenuous activity. The smell of wood smoke permiates everything - my clean clothes, buildings, the wind is laced with it.
But the fires are commonplace. They are part of this country, just like the drought. We are the stangers here, we are the ones who do not belong. Canberra, the nation's capital, is in flames. My parent's housen is in the middle of thick tea-tree scrub. How long do they have?
I want it to rain...