This is true – totally true. Just when I’m about to write about a forest fire in my novel one happens on our doorstep! Yesterday’s high temperatures and winds (it reached at least 30degC) whipped sparks, believe to have been caused by a logging crew, into a forest fire that this morning is burning hundreds of hectares of plantation forest at Mt Allan. The fire is about 20kms from where we live on the Taieri and this morning the smoke was almost as thick as a winter fog. Just after 6am the helicopters started up at the airfield near us and left with their monsoon buckets. Today is going to be another hot one but rain is forecast for tonight so that at least will put it out. But today is going to be a smokey one – even here in Dunedin at the university, it is everywhere. But we are over the hill from it – what must it be like for the helicopter crews and those fighting it on the ground? At least I can go there on the pages of my novel.