Another sunrise in Hobart, indicating another ordinary summer day.

Until you notice the smoke haze.

Until you smell the smoke in the air.

We’ve had smoke haze on and off since Sunday due to more than 75 bush fires burning across Tasmania right now.

Almost fifty fires were sparked a week ago by lightening strikes. The Tasmania Fire Service have been stretched to the limit since then and requested assistance from Fire Services on the mainland.

Fortunately, so far, there has been no loss of life and limited impact to properties. Thousands of hectares of bush land and forest in remote areas of the north of the island have been burnt. Bush walkers, fisherman and two fire crews were evacuated by air rescue due to the difficult terrain and restricted road access. But several communities remain on high alert.

This hot and dry summer is proving to be a tough fire season across Australia. Severe fires in Victoria destroyed over a hundred homes along the Great Ocean Road on Christmas Day and the town of Yarloop was destroyed in Western Australia earlier this month.

Living in the UK I was aware of the tragedy of significant bush fires, reported world wide. But now I am experiencing the reality of living in this environment. Even with the fires a hundred miles away, the smoke here is real, air quality is poor and visibility is limited.

A couple of hours before sun set, the sun was blood red in colour and now the moon has an eerie orange glow.