I woke to a strong smell of smoke.

After an initial panic, I realised that the back-burning of fuel buildup in the forest around us must have started. The summer months are a time of caution in many parts of Australia. Many of the eucalyptus trees shed their bark annually, along with leaves, leading to a buildup of dry, tinder-like matter on the forest floor. Combine that with temperatures that have reached 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) this year and lightning strikes or careless people, and you have a recipe for serious fires.

The smoke plus the morning mist we get up here in the Blue Mountains, led to pretty low visibility as I made my way to the train station for work.

Morning Smoke-2

Morning Smoke-3

Morning Smoke-4

Morning Smoke

Morning Smoke