This week, much of Australia has been tuned to the unfolding fire emergency in New South Wales and south-east Queensland, with other smaller incidents also occurring in Western Australia.
The deadly fires are a reminder to all of us of the potency that is Mother Nature, and while we all appreciate and love the Australian bush, we must also respect it for the manner in which it can turn against us should the circumstances ever arise.
Sadly, that's exactly what has taken place in communities around Taree, Wauchope, Glen Innes, Coffs Harbour, on Sydney's fringes, and at Noosa.
Watching the television broadcast of the disaster and reading about it in the paper, you cannot help but be reminded of our own Black Saturday fires of February, 2009.
On a day many in Bendigo will never forget, 58 homes were lost and tragically, one life was lost.
Back then, I was the Addy editor, and I spent much of that day watching people I knew fight to save their homes, and then being forced back and left feeling helpless as the huge wall of flames exacted their toll and claimed home after home through the suburbs of Eaglehawk, Maiden Gully, West Bendigo, Long Gully and California Gully.
It was Bendigo's day from hell.
And while our region has so far been spared the horrendous weather conditions that have been the mainstay to our north for the past few months, we can never afford to be dismissive of the chances such horrific fires could happen here once again.
Human intervention in the fires to our north has been both inspiring and incredibly frustrating this week.
On the one hand, there's the thousands of brave volunteer and paid firefighters who have put their own lives firstly on hold, and secondly at risk, to protect other people's properties and at risk communities.
That long list includes many selfless individuals from our own region, who ventured north this week to lend a hand where it was needed most.
Then there's the politicians who have succeeded in putting themselves in the firing line with a series of ill-timed and ill-considered comments that have left many of us aghast for their insensitivity and sheer stupidity.
It also grates when you consider our political figures know that when they speak the rest of us listen, and the media reports what is said. So some of the garbage that has been projected from the mouths of some of our pollies could be deemed to have been deliberate and calculated. This makes such commentary even more offensive.
The time will come for a full and frank review of this apocalyptic scenario, and in its entirety.
But surely, we must first focus our efforts and attention on putting out the fires, and keeping people safe and communities out of any further harm's way.
That review must consider not just the impacts of the recent record dry conditions, but also how climate change, or changing climate has impacted on our preparedness and our ability to plan ahead for the fire season that comes each year as surely as night follows day.
The impact of any reduction in the amount of land burned in accordance with a strategic fire management and prevention plan should also be explored, and if climate change is narrowing the window of opportunity for us to conduct and complete burn-offs prior to the fire season, we need to look at how we respond.
There's also the scary likelihood at least some of these fires were deliberately lit.
Doing nothing about any of this will never be an option.
At the time of writing this column, more than one million hectares of our country has been burnt to a crisp. Hundreds and hundreds of homes have been destroyed or badly damaged, and sadly, at least four people have died.
Our region has only just entered the official fire season, and while it's not been as hot in recent months as it has in recent years, the weather has definitely dried out and so too the plentiful grasslands and forests that we are privileged to share.
Those incessant winds that have driven record levels of pollen into town and into the eyes and throats of so many of us have also helped expedite the drying off of the surrounding countryside.
Long term weather outlooks don't look good, so we need to prepare and plan ahead while we can.
Complacency is never an option when it comes to safety, and safety must come first.
Our peak fire season will not arrive for another few months, and unless the weather turns dramatically, we have every reason to be just as wary as residents in any other part of our fire-prone nation.
It's a sobering thought.