I’ve had some emails and texts from people this morning wanting to know how Mike and Claire are doing – their house [at Chum Creek] is under urgent threat again from the Healesville complex fire. I last heard from Mike at around midnight when things were ‘ok so far’. Hodges Road was mentioned on the radio this morning as being under significant ember attack. This is a really scary time.

The fires started in that area 4 days ago. It’s hard to comprehend what the levels of exhaustion must be. I suspect it’s been four days with little, or no, sleep for people in that area.

Update: just as I posted this I got an email from Mike with this photo [but no message!]. I think, from looking at it, that it’s the paddock out the back of their place.

Update number 2 from Mike, lifted from the comments below:
Still ok. That’s our house’s south side through the trees. God it’s hard to blog on a phone.

Update number 3 from Mike, lifted from the comments below: Elvis is in the building. At last.



  1. thanks for this, i last heard from john (mike’s dad) last night around 10pm with the news that they’d had another 10,000 litres of water delivered (potentially 12,000 litres used over the weekend) and that they’d spent a lot of time cutting down trees and trimming limbs and removing anything that could be a potential ladder for fires to get into trees. All ground covering that wasn’t burnt was cut back really low or dug over…

    They’d parked their cars in the middle of a burnt out hay field as a last resort (CFA Advice). Food had been delivered from friends in Healsville and that they were extremely well prepared. They’d also replaced pump couplings that won’t melt etc…

    Apparently two houses on their short road have been burnt and one business destroyed thus far….

    they must be exhausted…

  2. they had a formidable fire plan, and have been preparing for months.

    the twigs in the alt worship space at ncyc were collected as part of the fire plan…!

  3. steve collins

    hi cheryl, thanks for blogging. i’m watching with horror and concern. the news reports are very upsetting – i don’t know what to say in the face of it really.

  4. Mick Mc

    2 things; got a text from Mike about 10 am saying they were still ok. Around about the same time CFA downgraded the urgent threat in their area.
    It’s like being part of a boxing match with the combatents going at each other, stopping for a break & then going at it again, knowing that the fight wasn’t over yet

  5. mike

    Still ok. That’s our house’s south side through the trees. God it’s hard to blog on a phone.

  6. ABC? Radio?

    I thought surely he’d be selling photos to The Age by now 🙂

    Great to hear you’re all still doing OK Mike! Best wishes to Claire & Co.

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