Fire in the sky
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On entering Sydney I headed for the Opera House. The road was blocked off (security reasons) but the friendly security guard let me through without a permit as long as I would be back within 3 minutes. My request to ride to the steps just to take a picture was a regular occurrence so there was no big issue
Just outside the city I had to close my helmet as it was getting too hot. (I read later that by 11 am it was already 32 degrees.)
Travelling along the freeway towards New Castle I was overtaken by several fire trucks , things did not look good. The worst part was that at time I would fight a head wind and minutes later I would feel being pushed along enjoying a tailwind. If there were fires they could surprise many, as they could travel in any direction. Near New Castle, while everything looked fine I was suddenly confronted with flames across the road. Cars had stopped and were back tracking with their lights flashing. The wind had changed again so I gave it a try. Problem number two was the smoke. A police car blocked the road, the officer requested that I would not proceed as it was not known what was happening further up the freeway.
I turned back and joined the traffic doing a detour, only to be stopped again and asked to turn left as the fire had changed direction
I finally made it to Port Macquarie , a beautiful coastal town about 400 km north of Sydney. At arrival I watched the news and found that many parts of this state are on fire and that many houses have been lost. The temp was around 35 degrees with wind gusts up to 80 km per hour.
I hope it will be cooler tomorrow.
www.yahoo.com.au calls it the worst fires in a decade, so a lot must be going on. I remember that some years ago the main freeway north was in part on fire as well. Most bitumen has now been replaced with concrete.