During Black Summer South Coast residents spent weeks living under the threat of the flames.
The Currowan bushfire - named for the forest where it began - flared up on November 26, 2019 and it kept burning until February 8, 2020.
For those 11 weeks, people along the South Coast lived with the fire. They went shopping, visited friends, tried to keep their businesses afloat while wondering when they would be told to leave their homes.
One of those people was journalist Bronwyn Adcock, who has written the book Currowan detaling her experiences and those of others during that terrible summer.
"It just went on for so long," Adcock said.
"It wasn't a case of 'the fire has come through, we got burnt, God that was awful let's just wake up the next morning and think of what we do next' . It just kept going."
Adcock and her family live in a rural setting to the west of Bawley Point. The fire encircled their house early on in its 11-week run but luckily didn't cause any serious damage.
However, there was always the threat it would return, and Adcock had to evacuate several different properties.
The re-packing of the car with the boxes of valuables, the need to rush from yet another house, the fear the fire might revisit her own home built up to the point where, five weeks in, she all but gave up.
The fire had worn her down and all she wanted was for it to do whatever it was going and then leave her alone.
"One of the most extreme days of the Currowan fire was Saturday the 4th of January," she said.
"It that was a day we found ourselves in Bawley Point surrounded by fire and my husband was off in the middle of a horrendous firestorm for the north with his brigade.
"By that time I'd been evacuated a number of times from my home, to my parents' house back to Bawley Point. By that day, I'd had enough.
"When we got the text message from the RFS saying everyone from Bawley Point to Nowra seek shelter ... I was just so exhausted and so over it.
"I was just thinking I don't care. The deal in my head was to let it burn, as long as it's over. I just needed to be over."
Eventually, it would be over. Then she would have to temper the relief that her own home came through largely unscathed with the sadness that neighbours' houses were razed to the ground.
The Adcocks would rebuild on the same land, but now it looked very different.
"It doesn't look the same as it did before," she said.
"A lot of things have come back, a lot of things haven't come back. In lots of places we've got weeds around us now. Where there used to be fairly beautiful forest there's now head high wattle and other various weeds coming through.
"The overwhelming thing that I've noticed in the last six months is the return of birds and animals. One of the most overriding things in the first year after the fire was just the complete silence.
"There was no birdlife, there was no rustling of animals in the bush - it was just dead silent.
"Now you can hear birds again, you can see the odd wallaby, the odd wombat. It's nothing like it was prior but you can definitely have a sense that things are generating."
Writing a book about such a horrible time in her life was "traumatic" at times for Adcock.
"To be honest I had many times when I was writing that I was thinking 'this is not a good idea, I shouldn't be revisiting this'," she said.
"When you're writing a book you do have to revisit trauma again and again, so I was revisiting my own trauma but also the trauma of other people.
" I would be amazed how my own trauma would hang around. Certain things would trigger me, like revisiting the WhatsApp message threads from the night of the fire which I would do for a few months after to check on the dialogue while writing the book.
"I would notice even when I started to read them, I could feel my chest get a bit tight and feel my pulse increase and I got that really uncomfortable feeling."
The book also contains the stories of other survivors of the fire. Adcock had to listen to their stories numerous times - at the interview, when transcribing it later, and then again and again when referring to the notes while writing Currowan.
Adcock writes about the journalists who descended upon the towns just after the fire. One asked a local if they had lost their house; when the answer was no, the reporter turned their back and looked for someone else to ask.
"I had a journalist call me the day after a fire hit our place because I'm in the media and someone had heard about me on the grapevine," she said.
"I just couldn't speak to them. I was not in a mental state where I could have strung two words together."
As a journalist and a victim of the fires, Adcock found that placed her in an unusual situation. While some people trusted her during the interviews months later because she was a local, Adcock still had to pry into their horrible memories.
"It was still very traumatic for people and I had to learn a lot," she said.
"I felt I did learn a lot as a journalist because that's what we deal with as journalists. We probe people's trauma and we get them to re-tell that the story of the worst day of their life.
"For me to have the shoe on the other foot was interesting because I could see how traumatising that could be.
"It's difficult because that is the role of the media, to get those stories. But I think it is worth having awareness of the extraordinary trauma that people have faced in these situations.
"Often they haven't slept and they don't know where loved ones are.
"They are people in a really difficult situation."
Currowan by Bronwyn Alcock (Black Inc) is published on Monday.