Site ColumnsBy Amy
February 5, 2001 - 3:29 PM
I always find it amazing how and entire community will turn out and lend a hand in times of crisis. Yesterday, for example, there was a bushfire about one or two blocks from my house - hence the reason for the lack of an update yesterday. While the fire itself wasn't large and was contained just before dark, it was on a segement of bush reserve surrounded on three sides by housing. What seemed like the entire shire turned out to help the threatened home owners or to simply watch, and in the end, the fire crews were sucessfull, more or less, in stopping the fire from jumping the road, though there were a couple of spot fires and at least one empty lot is now rather a lot emptier. t's certainly strage though, to walk, or cycle, as I did, around the area after everything's died down and the fire engines have gone - the smell of smoke and eucalyptus in the air, the red glow from the few remaining embers, entire familys out for a walk to survey the damage much as I was, dogs and children running around, neighbours out on their lawns sharing a beer, passersby stopping each other to talk over the day's events - a lot of things that don't normally happen. In my experience, you tend to get that same sense of community after any 'disaster' - I remember the entire neighbourhood camping out in cars and on the field after the 1989 Californian earthquake, or people helping each other batten down for Hurricane Iniki in Honolulu. It's really a pity, to my mind, that that same sense of community can't be shared on a more frequent basis - and at less of a cost.
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