Bilby, I didn't realise you had family still in the area. I hope they get out alright.
I remember the year of the Canberra fires, my sister was visiting a friend and the fires came within a block of them. They evacuated to a shelter, my sister's phone went flat, noone could contact her. It was harrowing.
Both my parents and my brother are on evacuation alert as of this morning. Ember attacks have brought the frontline to about 3 km they say. When I call them I can hear the firebombing helicopters in the background. Conditions for firefighting are much more favourable than they were on the weekend now that temperatures are lower and winds far weaker. The line appears to be holding.
Dad says it's very surreal: shops shut, the town hall full of refugees from Kinglake, emergency vehicles everywhere, people glued to horizon and radio.