Couta bonds

Couta Rocks shack owners and Tasmania Fire Service volunteers gathered on Sunday for a barbecue, all connected from the January bushfires that threatened properties and lives. (Below) The view from Couta Rocks following the January 27 bushfire.

Courage. A day of fellowship was held at Couta Rocks on Sunday, for those affected by the recent bushfires.

Described as both ‘fierce’ and ‘unpredictable’, the January 27 fire threatened shacks and people in the small shack community as the majority stayed to defend their properties.

With the intensity of the situation at hand, those present could not really ‘see’ those before them, their fellow shack owners and the firefighters helping to extinguish the raging furnace in front of their eyes.

Sunday’s barbecue gathering allowed these people to join, once the dust had settled, to enjoy a meal, talk, laugh, shed a tear and embrace what true community is.

Tasmania Fire Service volunteers from Arthur River, Latrobe, Moriarty and Wesley Vale met with the local shack owners from Couta Rocks, speaking of their experience, airing their frustrations and expressing their gratitude for all still being alive to tell their story.

One firefighter talked about the flames that licked the roof of the shed while he stood underneath.

Others finally understood how it was that the fire seemed to be travelling from every angle, as there were multiple fires raging which met at one central location: Couta Rocks.

As for the land, new growth is now shooting through the scorched ground.

There is a local wombat who feeds off the grass at the shacks each afternoon and is watched over by the people who live there.

New bonds have been made and existing friendships between shack owners cemented – over a day that will never be forgotten.

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