The extreme heat over the weekend brought to the surface memories of the catastrophic fire conditions of the so-called Black Summer. Trees and weather records tumbled as the blast of hot, dry air pummelled the region.
Once again, the Fires Near Me app lit up with icons, only this time they were spread out over the interior, where drought breaking rain triggered a surge in grass growth.
The heatwave was a reminder the threat of bushfire is never far away. With temperatures hitting the high 30s by mid-morning, one could almost sense the bush that's only just recovering starting to dry out again. The power outages that followed the wind demonstrated once more the vulnerability of our infrastructure in the face of a changing climate and, with it, more extreme weather events.
Modelling by scientists predicts challenging times ahead as the weather patterns adjust to the warming climate. More frequent droughts, more heatwaves, more bushfires - it's all on the radar. That means we all have to be prepared.
If, thanks to a damp La Nina weather pattern this summer, fire authorities aren't battling flames in our part of the world, they face a far more insidious enemy:complacency.
It's understandable after such a horrendous summer early this year to breathe a sigh of relief and put off drawing up that bushfire survival plan. But it's not wise.
As many learned to their cost last summer, all it takes is a run of hot, dry and windy conditions to turn lush undergrowth into an explosive fuel load. The fire threat might not be visible right now but, rest assured, it is just over the horizon.
Among the lessons we learned last summer was the reality that the threat can reach right into the heart of suburbia, taking out houses far from the fire front.
Years ago, drawing up a bushfire survival plan was something people in the country or those living next to bushland did. That changed in 2003, when hundreds of homes were destroyed in suburban Canberra.
So let the heatwave of this past weekend remind everyone that now is the time to turn their attention to drawing up survival plans. And if they're already drawn up, perhaps updating them in light of last year's experience. And better still, refine those plans to include a plan B and C. If you're relying on one route out and that is cut, where do you go? Being prepared saves lives and it should start now.