When I wrote last month’s editorial, I wasn’t expecting what followed in terms of the bushfire emergency. In either its immediate threat to my town and the rest of the country in the monstrous march the flames have undertaken.

I live in Lithgow, just west of the Blue Mountains, so let’s say it was a tense Christmas. For weeks prior, the gigantic Gospers Mountain fire had been dominating local news and skylines, to the west it still is, with the gloriously dramatic Capertee Valley facing the menacing outlook.

And then, well, you know the rest. It’s been heartbreaking.

Towns, villages, communities, people, our wildlife and of course the bush, irreparably damaged. People often say the bush will grow back, and I am sure in many places it will but there are concerns that given the ferocity of the fires some vegetation will struggle to return, as will the animal population.

And what of the human condition?

Look at the outpouring of support and love both emotional and material that’s mounting up. From the door-drops at local RFS stations to the donations’ depots and, of course, the highly publicised monetary stockpile that’s been gifted from all over the planet.

Talk of the planet itself may best be saved for another platform.

More locally, what can we do? There is a message circulating on social media, regarding the need for us to visit the affected areas. Not as ghoulish spectators but in our usual guise, as travellers, as Australians, as humans. To take the donations to a more specific level, on the ground, into the hands that need it most. Not as rocking up to someone’s gate and offering them a tenner, but to flood, or even to trickle-charge those locations in such need of a return to as normal as can be, as soon as can be.

To camp in caravan parks, or showgrounds, or free camps, to buy fuel and food, to have a counter meal and share a schooner or three or even to be a tourist. A local, in the Australian sense.

It’s not going to work everywhere, not so soon, and many people and places are still in real danger before any consideration can be given as to ‘what’s next?’

There are charities and aid organisations that will benefit from your help in a physical sense, too; nature rehabilitation from WIRES to the many smaller groups, Rural Aid, BlazeAid, not to mention becoming a volunteer firefighter.

To those men and women in all the emergency services, who last month I thought may actually get to enjoy Christmas, what can one say that really resonates, beyond thank you. A heartfelt thank you; a handshake, a hug; it’s all some can generate given the impact on their lives, but it’s the right thing.

So if you’re wondering what else you can do if you’ve donated food, clothes, money, protective masks for firies, and blankets for wildlife, then look at where you can travel to offer relief in the best way possible and that’s to help everyone return to what will constitute a new normal for all of us. The human experience that’s enriched by travel and meeting new people and learning and sharing.

Stay safe.

AND WHERE TO NOW, YOU MIGHT ASK?

TIM SCOTT EDITOR - RV DAILY

NEWS Ed's Letter

When I wrote last month’s editorial, I wasn’t expecting what followed in terms of the bushfire emergency. In either its immediate threat to my town and the rest of the country in the monstrous march the flames have undertaken.

I live in Lithgow, just west of the Blue Mountains, so let’s say it was a tense Christmas. For weeks prior, the gigantic Gospers Mountain fire had been dominating local news and skylines, to the west it still is, with the gloriously dramatic Capertee Valley facing the menacing outlook.

And then, well, you know the rest. It’s been heartbreaking.

Towns, villages, communities, people, our wildlife and of course the bush, irreparably damaged. People often say the bush will grow back, and I am sure in many places it will but there are concerns that given the ferocity of the fires some vegetation will struggle to return, as will the animal population.

And what of the human condition?

Look at the outpouring of support and love both emotional and material that’s mounting up. From the door-drops at local RFS stations to the donations’ depots and, of course, the highly publicised monetary stockpile that’s been gifted from all over the planet.

Talk of the planet itself may best be saved for another platform.

More locally, what can we do? There is a message circulating on social media, regarding the need for us to visit the affected areas. Not as ghoulish spectators but in our usual guise, as travellers, as Australians, as humans. To take the donations to a more specific level, on the ground, into the hands that need it most. Not as rocking up to someone’s gate and offering them a tenner, but to flood, or even to trickle-charge those locations in such need of a return to as normal as can be, as soon as can be.

To camp in caravan parks, or showgrounds, or free camps, to buy fuel and food, to have a counter meal and share a schooner or three or even to be a tourist. A local, in the Australian sense.

It’s not going to work everywhere, not so soon, and many people and places are still in real danger before any consideration can be given as to ‘what’s next?’

There are charities and aid organisations that will benefit from your help in a physical sense, too; nature rehabilitation from WIRES to the many smaller groups, Rural Aid, BlazeAid, not to mention becoming a volunteer firefighter.

To those men and women in all the emergency services, who last month I thought may actually get to enjoy Christmas, what can one say that really resonates, beyond thank you. A heartfelt thank you; a handshake, a hug; it’s all some can generate given the impact on their lives, but it’s the right thing.

So if you’re wondering what else you can do if you’ve donated food, clothes, money, protective masks for firies, and blankets for wildlife, then look at where you can travel to offer relief in the best way possible and that’s to help everyone return to what will constitute a new normal for all of us. The human experience that’s enriched by travel and meeting new people and learning and sharing.

Stay safe.

AND WHERE TO NOW, YOU MIGHT ASK?

TIM SCOTT EDITOR - RV DAILY

NEWS Ed's Letter

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