We were scheduled to go to Lorne on the Sunday after Christmas, but the fire in the Otways turned feral on Christmas Day with Lorne (amongst other places) being evacuated. We followed the news reports as well as the State emergency website closely. We were relieved when we stirred in our sleep at home at about 3 am on Saturday morning and noticed that was a slight smell of smoke in the air, indicating that the wind had changed (as predicted) to the south-west. This was followed by some reasonable rain.
Nevertheless, when we first checked in the morning, there was still an evacuation alert for Lorne. We started to think about “Plan B”, but at about 9.20, the alert was changed and by later in the day, the word on the TV was, please come back to Lorne – the businesses are suffering!
Hence we set off as scheduled and are now at Lorne, where things are quite normal, although since the road beyond Lorne is closed, there are a lot fewer cars on the road (which is rather nice). Perhaps there are just slightly fewer people in Lorne itself than would be usual for this week, but it’s hard to say as the numbers are still good! The coffee establishment next to the beach was certainly operating (see photo)!
Of course our thoughts are with the people further along the coast who suffered losses, and we’ll certainly be monitoring the situation later in the week when the weather is forecast to heat up again.