Sue Dunlop and her husband lose their home of 41 years on Buena Vista Road, Winmalee.
It’s risky business:
‘The house is on fire, we’re not going to save it’
As Sue Dunlop stood in the blackened rubble of the home she lived in for the past 41 years, the ferocity of Thursday’s firestorm became painfully clear.
“You live in the bush. You live by the rules of the bush, and that’s it,” Mrs Dunlop reflected, as trees and scrub continued to burn around her in her backyard on Friday morning.
There, but for the Grace of God …
The bush in Australia is around the fringes mainly and across the top but the top is not dry – it’s warm and humid. When you hear of bushfires, it’s normally the southern half, the warm temperate zone with much forest.
In Melbourne, for example, there is the city proper and the burbs spreading out like the spokes of a wheel and then the forest [bush] starts to close in. The middle-class, artists etc. often have retreats or even homes out in the bush – in Eltham, Ferntree Gully etc and the attraction is greater natural beauty in the area – it truly is a most beautiful part of the world to live in.
There was a vid of a man standing near his burnt dream yesterday and the firefighter hurried him away because of the smoke danger. Gutted, like his home – that’s what it was like.
Insurance? Well, yes and no. The poorer people – and there is an Appalachian type community out there – they’ve lost all.
I also, selfishly perhaps, look at this wooden boat of mine and realize it too could go up just like that. Insured, yes but that still doesn’t make up for the work and the insurance firms never give full price.
In Australia, as that lady said – the risk is always a known-known, it’s always there in Oz.