Yesterday I took Cindy for a walk in the evening. It had been a lovely day, sunny but not too hot and on this summer evening there were still lots of people at the beach. There were kids playing in the creek, families out riding bikes together while others played table tennis in their gardens. In our street, some kids were having a game of street cricket with wheelie bins for wickets. In other words typical Aussie summer holiday activities.
Late that night when I let Cindy out for the last time I noticed that it was very smoky outside and this morning it was even worse. There are a couple of fires going locally but when I checked the local Facebook pages I learned that these fires had been downgraded. The smoke was not coming from them. This smoke is apparently blanketing the whole northwest coast of Tasmania and it is either coming from a big bushfire in eastern Tasmania or it is drifting across from the mainland where I am sure that you all know there are horrendous fires.
Here you can see the difference. I took the first photo on Friday afternoon while I was sitting outside for a while. The second one was this morning. The photo doesn’t show the smoke that well, it’s like cloud cover. It doesn’t look as bad here as it did around Geeveston last summer but it is already affecting the air quality here. The photos cannot give you an idea of how bad it smells out there. I was only outside for a few minutes before I had to come back indoors to get away from the smell. I was already finding the air hard to breathe. The effects of these fires carry a long way.
The fires in NSW and Victoria are by no means under control and in fact, the experts say that today will be a worse day than New Year’s Eve was. There are fires in South Australia, Western Australia and here in Tasmania. Smoke may be with us for a long time.