The colour palette on the RFS’s Current Fire Danger page is looking dangerously red today. Ridgesong is in area 3, in the Cessnock council local government area, though we are near to the border of area 4. Our area is classified as being at Severe fire danger rating today, with the more dangerous rating of Extreme being applied to the areas to our West and South. Our Fire Plan calls for some preparation during Severe conditions, to allow for faster response time in the event we need to evacuate (first option) or defend against a fire (second choice option). In the first hours after dawn, before the full heat of the sun baked the metal roof of the house and the garage to a breath sucking furnace, I cleared the roof and the gutters of fallen leaves. “Davey”, the trusty, yellow fire pump is parked by the side of the house, near to the main water control and supply manifold. The Scooby Doo is tucked into the garage to keep it from turning into a mobile sauna as the day progresses. The fire fighting apparel is to hand, and the browser has the RFS’s Current Incidents page open. The NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has stated that today is the worst day for fire danger across NSW in the State’s history. On some TV channel you can guarantee that a solemn faced announcer is saying “The State is a tinderbox today, as firefighters battle blazes across many areas”. If one starts nearby, we’re outta here and heading to the coast, though ironically that will take us into the Extreme rated Area 4. So far…so good. But it’s best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.