From the editor: A hazy New Year

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Starlog, Summer 2019/2020A hazy New Year

hazy new year
Canberra Weekly editor Julie Samaras

Day 66: The smokewave has returned, again; bushfires continue to burn in southern ACT and along the NSW coast. I seem to exist in timewarp where it feels like January was eight weeks long, we cancelled New Year’s Eve last week, the Christmas break was months ago and December was a blur, if indeed it ever happened.

Day 1 of summer had dawned with such optimism; plans were being made for fun outings in the bush capital – outdoor cinema and concerts, picnics, walks, river swims – and getaways to the coast. Instead, we’ve had weeks of smokewave, seemingly endless days of the sun glowing like a neon pink disc in dull grey skies, the capital’s usual pristine air replaced by dirty haze redolent of campfire smoke, punctuated by rare blue skies, very occasional rain and a freak hailstorm that pummelled parts of the capital with golf-ball sized missiles. There have been days and nights of record-breaking heat, declarations of State of Emergency, State of Alert and Total Fire Bans. We are a people on edge.

Compared to the hell our firies and emergency services heroes have been enduring for weeks, often fighting fires in sweltering temperatures that see me shelter in air-conditioned comfort, I have it easy, yet feel uneasy. To our heroes, we salute you. After this strange, unprecedented summer, so many questions demand to be answered

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