Australia Climate and weather Politics

Loving the Bush to death


A member of our family 27 December

Happy New Year  

A neighbour is dead, others are homeless, the animals are cooked, our bit of paradise is razed to the ground AND the lunatics blame ‘climate change’. SMH.

Photos below. 

We’ve just had a giant reminder that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. A time bomb some decades in the policy-making just went off. 

The environmental lobby helped build this mammoth bonfire in Australia and on New Year’s Eve it caught alight faster, and burned more furiously than any fires we’ve seen. Surprise, surprise. 

I don’t regret owning a rural property because the fire risk in Australia is always there, and understood. Plus the Aussie bush bounces back really fast from fire. In fact some of our native plant species need fire to germinate, and to heal from invasive weeds (like mistletoe) or insects.  

What I deeply resent are the decades of ‘sensitive, environmentally aware’ policies that always kill what they seek to protect. Stupid short-sighted restrictions that stop people clearing and burning forest litter, and collecting fallen timber for firewood, thereby minimising (not eliminating) future threats to life and limb. 

We must take back control of land management from the greenies so that fires of such magnitude and ferocity never occur again in My Country:

….An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

On related matters, I see Meat Loaf is in BIG TROUBLE for picking on St Greta of Thunberg. Oh nooo!!!  So, riffing on his theme, I penned some lyrics below, for a forthcoming collection (only kidding) of my brand new genre of literature, which I previously named Swamp Poetry:

You Took the Words Right out of My Mouth

 By Ainsley Hayes, with apologies to Meat Loaf

It was a hot summer night and the beach was burning
There was ash falling over the sand
When I listen in the dark, I hear the whole world churning
I see the shooting embers through our trembling hands

We’re wetting our lips and basically hiding
Dying if we hadn’t made haste
We’d been lying together about a ‘silver lining’
But by the light of the ute 
We knew there wasn’t another moment
Not another moment
Not another moment to waste

Well that was so close that my knees grew weak
While souls are flying high above the ground
I’m trying to breathe but no matter what I do
I just can’t seem to make any sound

And then you took the words right out of my mouth
Oh, it must have been while you were dissing me
You took the words right out of my mouth
Oh, I swear its true
I was just about to say I TOLD YOU SO.



In December 2019, the NSW Badja Forest Fire begins >100 kms away on a mountain ridge. As time draws on, things get a bit hazy.

Okay it’s quite smoky but it should pass over. The southerly is pushing the smoke away, which is great. We can handle a bit of smoke.

afternoon sun 30 Dec 2019Red sun in the late arvo

Evening 30/12/19 Dinner as usual with (now late) nocturnal members of the family. The moon’s red and the air is really smoky. The RFS site shows the big Badja fire is growing quickly.

No worries, she’ll be right. Nighty-night all!

*Sets alarm to go off every 2 hrs just in case* 


3:39 AM  31/12/19  *Looks through binoculars again
Wake up, the fire’s jumped another ridge…time to POQ.

(It is hard to see in this pic taken just before heading off but there are now two fires behind the trees, and a third visible glow. They’re still a fair distance away (eventually joining up into one conflagration) but for the first time I see flames through the binocs and the wind’s like a hot oven that could send embers flying over in mere seconds).

6:30 AM 31/12/19  Semi-snoozing in the car while parked by the coast (~20 kms away). Time for a cuppa. We have a car fridge with food, beer and bourbon so we’re good for days. The smoke from inland is visibly thickening as more vehicles arrive to wait it out.


9:30 AM 31/12/19 Lucky we got out early. The fire glowing in the distance makes it look like the sun’s coming up in the west. Can’t see much in the distance anymore and it’s going dark.

11:30 AM 31/12/19  Now the sky has gone red and ash is falling on the car. Power’s gone out in town which means fuel pumps and fridges won’t work if they don’t have backup gennies. People still walking their dogs and riding bicycles. No internet. I cast a line out for something to do but nothing’s biting.

New Year’s Eve: A few blokes have circled their utes and are having a party in the car park. I tell my son on the phone we think there is a 1% chance our place is still okay and we’ll see him at home once we’ve gone back in for a look. We stay in the car out of the smoke and celebrate the incoming New Year by falling asleep around 9:30 PM. 



Going back in. The fire now has a 200,000 hectare footprint but the actual fire front in this area has moved on. Fallen trees everywhere, only a few still burning. On the way we give a lift to a neighbour who has lost his home and ute but saved his dogs! Access becomes a bit dodgy so we walk the last few kms. There are fried animals on the ground.

It looks like the fire ate through all the undergrowth and moved on very quickly. Almost none of our possessions was still burning when we arrived, which was odd. Our dunny looks like it heated up and exploded but wasn’t burnt. Imagine a log fire made with a little kindling to get it going, and a log fire made with stacks of kindling. One tends to burn gently or slowly before the wood catches, while the other burns fiercely for a time and then often snuffs itself out. 

I could post the ex-caravan, ex-shed, ex-garden and other examples of ex-stuff … but what’s the point, we were actually lucky and others were not.

I also agree with commenter Brad is Batman from a Daily Mail UK bushfire article yesterday.

Mismanagement, crime and dry storms caused this situation, and it was exacerbated by the drought.

I also believe the inner city hippies here in OZ thought their day had come with these fires. Yet public sentiment doesn’t seem to be with them this time.

Many Aussies are actually sick to death of climate change theory, taxes, laws and propaganda pushed by people who greatly desire the redistribution of wealth and power but don’t care at all about Australia, or nature or the good that humans do.

UPDATE: Tim Blair agrees in a piece for the Spectator USA




Only registered users can comment.

  1. Hi Ainsley
    This blog post is incredible. The photos heartbreaking. We’re thinking and praying for all of you. You are an amazing people. 🇦🇺 🇺🇸

    May I share this on the VG’s Facebook page?

    1. Hey Kate & the VG team, thank you so much for reading my blog and your kind thoughts. Of course you may share the post, that would be fantastic. It is only my personal opinion but based on what I saw with my own eyes.

      Hopefully we Aussies grow a brain (as we say here) from this terrible situation and return to a more active, practical and local style of managing the bush, just like Aussie journo Tim Blair describes in the piece I link to from the Spectator USA. That is the country in which I grew up when better methods saved both people and animals by preventing such mammoth and dangerous events.

      Cheers, Ainsley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *