Wye River is half-destroyed, gargantuan brown burn from the Jamieson to Kennett River. Christmas Day was conflagration, New Year a perpetual watch. How to connect with the grim results, or neighbours’ loss? Support comes in time. Gigantic trucks clean up. We look for small signs: new bracken, trunk leafage. April, and tiny grass finches come up to the houses that survived, wherever seed is left for them. Our vocabulary has acquired ‘ember attack’, ‘containment’ line’, ‘action plan’. It’s impossible to be rueful about the firetails, unique to this coastline and Tasmania. Their spirited energy, their very presence, is a consolation.