EDITORIAL: A time to give thanks

Cooma, so far, has not been at serious risk during the latest bushfire crisis (although one ABC report put the flames perilously close on Saturday). But Numeralla in particular, and many property owners in Countegany and Kybeyan, have spent many anxious hours hoping, and possibly praying.

Our fire fighters have been just magnificent, either paid staff, or volunteers. What would we have done without them?

Ordinary people in their normal, daytime (or nightime) activities, they are suddenly transformed into superheroes, putting their safety on the line for the sake of the community. And make no mistake, their safety is at risk - there are plenty of cases in relatively recent times of fire fighters losing their personal battles with the flames.

We, as a community, have been extremely fortunate. Through good planning and preparation, plenty of dedication and hard work and - perhaps - a degree of luck, only one local home has been lost. That, for the family involved, has been devastating, but the community has rallied round and has been extremely responsive in providing the family with some much-needed funds.

The latest news is that the local bushfire danger is easing, at least for now, and some of the extreme weather has not eventuated. Complacency is not likely to rear its head though, at least not in a rural community such as the Monaro, and while our volunteers may be able to snatch a well-deserved break they will be ready for the next fire, for the next emergency.

Every one of them, heroes all, deserve our praise and our gratitude for a mighty job, and a mighty effort.

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