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When I woke this morning a wide expanse of ash littered beautiful Seven Mile Beach. The retreating high tide deposited thousands of tons of burnt leaves, branches and twigs from an out-of-control fire twenty-seven kilometres south.

Last night it looked like a preview of Armageddon from a distance. Eerie darkness; tiny particles stung and left an acrid taste; the smell of smoke and the sound of the southerly. An assault on all the senses.

I refused to indulge in any discomfort. Any irritation was swept away by the horrific scenes of death and destruction of those who have lost everything. A minute taste of the reality of their overwhelming distress.

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