The Age has this wonderful photo, by Keren Freeman, of CFA Captain from Mt Buller, Carly Reudavey (centre) and Andrew Kelly (left) and Luke Corbett (with Santa hat).
The words scratched in the snow on the windscreen say it all.
Carly is quoted as saying that the volunteers had not had a day off in 25 days - until yesterday.
"The immediate fire threat will ease with the rain, and it will dampen down the fine fuel, such as the grasses and leaves, but the larger fuel will continue to smoulder and with a couple of days of hot, dry weather and some wind, it could start up again," Mr Athorn said.
For more on the cold snap, and the records which it set, and on its wider impact on the fires, read this report in The Age.
And for an interpretation of the inpact of climate change on the fires, read this informative article. Is it Global Warming? Regardless of the "political caveats" which the BOM people are obliged to throw into their reports, the facts remain that the last fire to be dampened in the East Gippsland mountains, in Victoria, was at Harrietville - which gets a special mention in this report, as having been particularly dry this last winter.
A 10 year drought, followed by a particularly dry year, with little snow this last winter, and an early thaw - it all adds up to telling us something, doesn't it? No wonder the country has been burning. Lets hope there is a real break in the seasonal trend, or we will see more, and worse to come, before this summer is over.