I live in Canberra but parents are right on the coast in the thick of it. Over Christmas, mobile phone reception dropped in and out and they were without power, food (supply trucks couldn't get through) or a way to escape. I couldn't get to them (again, road closures) and there was nothing more terrifying during Christmas holidays to call them, not knowing if I'd hear from them and knowing there was nothing I could do to help. They're safe for now, but some active fires still burn in the bushland surrounding their house.
Canberra (located in a giant ancient crater, surrounded by mountains) has been covered in smoke for five weeks and we are sick to death of it. Can't go outside, can't exercise, can't get to work some days. Businesses are closing to protect their workers from smoke exposure and the whole city feels like it's fatigued and weary.
Please donate to WIRES and RFS if you can. They're doing a terrific job and we are all so grateful for them. WIRES is running basic wildlife carer courses in the new year, to anyone who wants to get involved!