The past couple of days have been a test of human endurance for residents and firefighters of Adelaide's Mt Lofty Ranges in South Australia as out-of-control bushfires swept through an area exceeding 12,000 hectares in size.
These fires are a painful reminder of the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983 except that, to date, mercifully there has been no loss of human life.
I salute the hundreds of professional and volunteer firefighters who unselfishly risk their lives to protect others in the most extreme weather conditions and our exhausted South Australian "firies" are now being supported by their equivalents from neighbouring Victorian and New South Wales fire services.
Temperatures on Friday and Saturday were in the mid 40sC when the fire was at its worst, but have dropped some 10 degrees. Unpredictable wind gusts and directional changes have added to the extremely dangerous conditions, together with some dry lightning strikes which accompanied a brief thunderstorm.
The challenge now confronting these brave fighters is to contain the entire perimeter of the fires before another burst of high temperatures forecast for the middle of this week. This will be no easy task as the fire covers vast areas of steep terrain.
I live only 13km from two of the towns/regions hit by fire and, although my home is located in suburbia, down the hill, I have to confess thoughts of preparing an evacuation plan (should that become necessary) crossed my mind.
As the early evening temperature dropped last night, I took my Jessie for a run on the nearby oval - the bottom two shots were taken from that location looking west, while the shot immediately below was from the back of my home.
Praying for the safety of all those brave firefighters and residents.
Linking up with Monday Mellow Yellows
(hope you had a blessed Christmas Gemma and Happy New Year to you and yours)