‘Alien’ land­scape greets cou­ple on re­turn but ev­i­dence of life still re­mains

NewsMail - - FOCUS ON FIRES -

LEAH and Ken ChynowethTidy ar­rived home at 2pm on Tues­day, roughly the same time they were forced out nine days be­fore.

Ms Chynoweth-Tidy said a thun­der­storm was a strange and “quite scary” way to be wel­comed back to Deepwater, as was the charred and “alien” land­scape out­side their house.

“It was re­mark­able, we turned back up and the house was ex­actly the same as we left it nine days ago, but the sur­round­ing bush is ... just gone,” Mr Chynoweth-Tidy said.

“It’s very strange to be sit­ting in nor­mal­ity in one sense and look­ing out over some­thing (like that).

“But we are in­cred­i­bly blessed, in­cred­i­bly for­tu­nate and there are many who are worse off than us.” The cou­ple were glad to see their nine chick­ens, rooster and four ducks un­harmed de­spite re­main­ing home in the fires.

Ms Chynoweth-Tidy thanked coun­cil work­ers who pro­vided the an­i­mals sus­te­nance dur­ing their ab­sence.

“They’re a lit­tle bit edgy, they’re not as set­tled as they nor­mally are, I think they’re sort of keep­ing an eye out just in case an­other fire comes through,” Ms Chynoweth-Tidy said.

“I have no idea what they would have gone through the other night, but they’re all fine and still lay­ing eggs.”

“Be­ing evac­u­ated and out of the place for nine days is dif­fi­cult, when you’ve got live­stock that you’ve left in there as well

you just worry about ev­ery­thing.”

She said she and her hus­band wanted to ar­rive home be­fore the storm on Tues­day to block their wa­ter tanks and pre­vent con­tam­i­na­tion, an is­sue faced by many in their sit­u­a­tion.

“It’s very smoky, there’s black ash on ev­ery­thing,” she said.

“There was fallen trees in the drive­way which we had to clear ... That would been one of the dan­gers the fire peo­ple would also face, not just the fires them­selves but huge tress, I'm talk­ing enor­mous, fall­ing.”

She said de­spite the small hur­dles, she and her hus­band felt “well looked after” com­pared to a small num­ber of res­i­dents who lost their homes.

“Just the luck of the draw some­times, the weather con­di­tions, whether the firepeo­ple are there at the time ... but in amongst all of that dis­as­ter and de­struc­tion there’s all this ev­i­dence of life.

“I've got toma­toes still grow­ing on some of my bushes ... There’s still things that carry on and still grow and still breathe.”

BACK HOME: Leah and Ken Chynoweth-Tidy were re­lieved to be home.

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