January and it rained at last and the acrid stench of wet, newly burnt land, livestock, wildlife and property dulled any sense of relief. Each day television crews working at infernos’ edges reported new outbreaks burning out of control while thousands of fire fighters from across the country joined ranks to defend the vulnerable. And later we were witness to the awful plight of those returning to the charred ruins of homes and gardens, pets, stock and native animals as families picked through the ashes for signs of life before the flames. It is still sad beyond description.The reminder is constant in the new category added to our roadside fire gauges - CATASTROPHIC! Scary stuff? You bet.