January will be remembered for the bushfire that got close! With the fire heading our way, and wind change expected to bring it to us on Wed-Thur, we had a final tidy up and clear and got ready for the fire. We have a bushfire plan and we were staying and defending. We have a fire trailer, and the house where we could put whomever we could catch inside. The house has a fire-rated roof and we have an external sprinkler system all designed to withstand fires, so we have ticked all the boxes on the RFS check sheet. Scary nonetheless. Thankfully on Monday-Tuesday an extra 200 RFS came in and built and burned a massive firebreak which saved us! One property was lost, we know the owner and have helped where we can. The fire initially was slow enough for those animals that could to get away, sadly the rest and where the fire ran were all incinerated. Five days later after some rain when we were allowed in the fire ground it was very sad to see not a footprint or scratching anywhere. It was a lightning strike.
We managed to build a side extension onto our middle school thanks to all the helpers we had and some locals over January. This proved timely as Monty the tunneller was getting beaten up by Jeffery over Poppett and so dug a tunnel joining the front of house wombatorium to the far side of middle school. Monty always bites when excited, he is very happy and uncontrollable at 16kg—now he has a big enclosure just for him! Poor Monty.