This past week on the Sunshine Coast has seen a mixture of devastation, fear and mass disruption alongside heartwarming stories of a community coming together, hope and courage. The fires that have ripped through hundreds upon hundreds of acres in Queensland this week were ferocious, a combination of a long dry spell, gusty winds. The losses are still being calculated, but many homes have been lost or damaged, both in the human world and in the animal kingdom.
Unfortunately in the case of the Peregian fires, the destruction was caused by extreme teenage ignorance. It’s enough to make you throw your hands up in despair. But, in the very worst of situations, you often also get to see the best in people. The brave firefighters, the rescue coordinators, the police force, the community, the council. People stepping up to help, offer assistance, open their homes, make donations, bake, supply water. The local businesses that choose community spirit over profit, shutting their doors to trade in order to be able to supply food or goods to the rescue operations.
And now, in the aftermath, we have the recovery. Countless stories and images flood our news and social media of community support and wildlife rescue operations. Experts and volunteers trudging through 800+ acres of ash covered ground, seeking any sign of life from surviving wildlife. Sharing the joy of finding a carpet python, a tree snake, a possum, a koala. The long nights being put in by our vets and wildlife warriors trying to then keep these miracles alive. The donations of food, bedding, medicines to the organisations giving them hope. Positivity in the face of overwhelming adversity.
The extraordinary impact of these fires on our ecosystem and precious wildlife will not be known for some time yet. The loss of habitat and numbers of already endangered species will be significant. But we look to the helpers, and we feel hope. We look to the helpers and feel reassured that there are so many good people in the world, caring for it, looking after it. We look to the helpers, we become the helpers, we show the next generation what really matters. And out of the ashes we can rebuild, regenerate and rehabilitate.
This week, we send heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of the helpers. In every way, our planet, our wildlife, our future, all rely on people like you.