October 22

Bushfires and Community Spirit

Hi everyone, I won’t be posting a recipe this week. For those that don’t know me, I live in Springwood in the Blue Mountains, Australia, which is currently experiencing terrible bushfires. While my house has not been in danger as yet, many others in our relatively  small community have not been so lucky, with 193 homes destroyed and another 109 damaged. A trip to the shops yesterday was quite upsetting, seeing houses lost as close as 2km from my house. And the fires are still burning, with tomorrow predicted to be a possible bad day. The worst case scenario being told to us, is that if the weather is as bad as predicted tomorrow, our place, and the homes of some of our friends could be in danger. But this is worst case scenario, the likelihood is that we will be safe, but we have our dogs staying at my parents, our bags packed, and taking fire precautions around the house, just to be safe.

Jericho Road in Winmallee has organised frozen food to provide meals to anyone who needs them – people who have lost their homes, have taken in other families or are out fighting the fires. A friend of mine, Emma, has organised a great group of people who have been cooking food and delivered lots of meals to stock the freezers. (Visit Facebook Group by clicking here). I delivered some meals this morning, and was blown away at how close the fires came to the taking so many more properties, the photo of the burnt bush is taken from the person who is collecting meals driveway. Emma’s group, has done such an amazing job, when I went up this morning, there wasn’t much in the freezers, the picture of the packed freezer above, is just one of the four freezers that were stocked this morning by Emma and her volunteer cooks.

I will be taking more meals down for as long as they need them. If you live in Sydney or know someone that would like to help out, I work in Five Dock in the Inner West, and drive back to the Blue Mountains each day. If people would like to drop meals by, I am more than happy to deliver them. Emma will be making deliveries on Tuesdays from the Hawkesbury area, so I’m thinking I will aim for Friday deliveries, to add some food for over the weekends. If you would like to help, let me know, and join the facebook group if you have FB. Any food is welcome, they just ask for it to be frozen in plastic containers (I couldn’t get any for this batch, so used alfoil ones, but have stocked up on plastic ones now). If you are in the Hawkesbury area, please contact Emma via the facebook page link above.


It has been amazing to see the community spirit, seeing so many people out offering help to others, especially people like the ladies at Butterfly Garden, who have lost their own homes, but are taking vouchers out to families affected by the fires so that the children, who have lost everything can come in a get new toys.  And the amazing work of the Rural Fire Service, who is made up of volunteers, out fighting the fires to protect the community. I take my hat off to these volunteers and all the emergency service personnel, that are out there fighting these fires, day after day, while many have their own homes in danger. They have kept residents updated with valuable information throughout the fires, through community meetings, social media, phone messages and text messages for those in danger, and have managed to look after the safety of everyone without a single life lost in the Blue Mountains fires.

My prayers are that the weather conditions are better than predicted in the next few days and that they can get the fires under control, with no more losses of property and that the destruction of the bush and it’s wildlife can be minimised as much as possible.

Fingers crossed,

Chard x



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