OPINION: There was excitement in the air on Sunday night, when a powerful and largely unheralded electrical storm swept in and lit up the sky.
Although it might have felt as if "the gods were at war" - as one of the dozens of people who photographed the lightning strikes and contacted the Mail put it - the Nelson Fire Service could have done with a little less excitement. One strike sparked a fire in Hira forest, which burned throughout the night.
It was in an inaccessible area and two helicopters were needed to try to contain the blaze, in an area in which the high fire risk had already been acknowledged.
As potentially problematic and difficult as the fire has been to deal with, spare a thought for authorities and residents in Tasmania where, as of yesterday, deaths were feared but most of the 100 missing people had been accounted for. About 100 buildings had been destroyed and raging bushfires were continuing almost unchecked.
Summer fires are an often deadly fact of life in many parts of Australia. We can only look at the devastation there and do our bit to be fire-safe during a hot summer in Nelson.
- The Nelson Mail