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It has been another week of intense emotion for much of Australia. Large swathes of the NSW South Coast, the state's south-west slopes, the Riverina, north-east Victoria and, of course, South Australia's Kangaroo Island have been consumed by fires. This newsletter documents the people of these diverse communities and their experiences at different points of the "fire cycle" - from shellshock to grief and even the first steps towards recovery.
THE CANBERRA TIMES: The night the beast came to the farm
A terrible beast with no name visited the tiny hamlet of Wandella on New Year's Eve.
Among the black, leafless trees there at the back of Cobargo on the NSW far South Coast are sheets of corrugated iron, 12 metres up, twisted and wrapped around the protruding limb of the charred gums.
Below, on the side of the road, sits the roasted, twisted, melted back half of a Ford Falcon sedan. It had once been a complete car sitting in a paddock next to a house, 800 metres away. READ ON
SOUTH COAST REGISTER: Noel's patch of paradise reduced to ash
As Budawang elder, artist and teacher Noel Butler surveys the ruins of his once lush property at Woodburn, he talks about the ferocity of Saturday's firestorm.
"We were well prepared. There was nothing we hadn't done to prepare us for a bushfire that had been raging around us for a couple of months. I had no fear whatsoever of finding something like this," he said, his face etched with exhaustion and shock. READ ON
DAILY ADVERTISER: 'We will rebuild' vows heartbroken family
Not a blade of grass still stands in place at Ann and Wal Perkins' rural property near Mount Adrah.
Their property was devastated by the fire that tore through the area just over a week ago. Those properties around them that had been saved the finality of the first fire did not avoid its return on Friday night.
"It's devastating when you first see it," Mrs Perkins said. "You expect to find a little bit of grass somewhere, but there's nothing. Not a blade of grass to be seen." READ ON
THE BORDER MAIL: A decade on, Black Saturday survivor still haunted by roaring flames
The current bushfire crisis will continue to burn long after the flames have been extinguished, says a survivor of the Black Saturday bushfires.
Wodonga's Chris Bogusis knows first hand that recovering and rebuilding after a fire doesn't happen overnight. Mr Bogusis was diagnosed with PTSD after surviving the Black Saturday bushfires in Healesville. READ ON
NORTHERN DAILY LEADER: The unsung heroes who work behind the wall of fire
The hum of radio chatter is broken by a distinct ringtone. As another emergency call rolls into the Fire Control Centre, Robyn Martyn has a silver tongue and a sense of calm determination.
Her neck is adorned with a precisely tied scarf, she has a warm smile, kind eyes and a decidedly super-human ability to get things done. About 70 klicks from Tamworth in the small town of Quirindi, the Liverpool Plains Fire Control Centre is a hive of activity. READ ON
PORT MACQUARIE NEWS: A community pauses to reflect on those ferocious fires
It's been two months since the Mid-North Coast communities were challenged by terrifying bushfires. Lives were lost, homes destroyed and hectares of flora and fauna decimated.
At Johns River where isolation, communication and awareness about just what to do, were met with dangerously erratic conditions and fire with a ferocity no-one could have predicted. A fire that took one of their own. READ ON
Enjoy your Sunday.
In other news across Australia ...
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