By 4.30pm on Friday, people were beginning to gather at the intersection of Monaro Street and Merimbula Drive, some were tourists looking at the fires across the other side of Top Lake, others were those who had been told to evacuate their homes.
In amongst the talk and atmosphere of anxiety, a plaintive bleating could be heard, it was Tim Flint’s Dorper lamb, which he calls Bleeton.
Tim lives in Forest Lane, one of the areas that fire fighters battled with during Friday and Saturday.
He was told to evacuate between 2.30 and 3pm on Friday. “I was going to stay but it was too ferocious, trees were exploding,” Tim said.
He simply grabbed what he could get in his ute, including Bleeton and his dog Scruffy and drove to the top of Monaro Street. There along with his neighbours, he watched the growing pall of smoke, a tear mixing with the sweat and ash as he hugged Scruffy and Bleeton.
Suddenly a resident from the Lakewood Drive area who didn’t wish to be named, came and introduced herself, offering accommodation to anyone in need. She explained that they might be on the floor but welcome to come to her home.
As Tim said: “I have nowhere else to go.”
Early Saturday morning the strains of a beating Bleeton could be heard from the Top Lake car park as the helicopters and water bombers started their work once again.