I often think of Aunt Leila standing there on the spot where her home once stood. She lost it to those merciless Black Saturday fires that swept country Victoria. She said it was like hell had come to Hazeldene, that the deaf could have heard the sound the fire made. I’ve tried to imagine the noise, but just can’t fathom the sound of even one exploding gum. It’s hard to conceive of such heat—of boiling lakes, dams in flames, and all that ash can only mean just one thing … When you stand in the place where your home once…

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