An Australian woman is talking on a radio programme about her escape from the bush fires near Sydney in 1994.
The first thing I did when I woke up in the morning was watch the TV news. I could see that the situation was bad, and they showed a map where the fires were burning. Outside in the garden I couldn't see the sun, as the sky was full of smoke.
I decided I'd better prepare to leave. My daughters were staying in town and my husband was abroad so it was up to me to decide what to do. I packed a suitcase of clothes and another case of useful things. It's difficult in this kind of situation to know what to take with you. So, I took my passport and my bank book and all the money I had. I took my diary, my address book and my camera. Finally I took our wedding photographs, as I didn't want to lose those.
Out in the garden the sky was getting blacker, and the wind which had been blowing hard for two days was getting stronger. I could now hear the sound of the fire which was only a mile or two away. I was expecting the police to drive by and warn people. Suddenly I noticed little pieces of burning wood falling out of the sky. They landed on the ground and started to burn the grass, I didn't wait a moment longer. I got into my car and drove down the road. The smoke was thick and at times it was difficult to see the road. Animals were running across the road, trying to escape the fire. There were dogs, a few horses and lots of kangaroos. Five miles down the road I came to a long bridge over the river. Once on the other side, I knew I was safe.