Serious post time...
I know most of the readers of this little blog are based in Europe but I'm sure that, at least through the bloodline of many of your animals, you know know a fair number of Australian breeders.
Many of them, some large and well known, most small, are in Victoria, in the middle of the worst bushfire that we've seen here.
At the time of writing this, there have been 173 confirmed fatalities and there are still 25 fires that haven't been controlled. Property, land and stock loss will be catastrophic. There are already stories hitting the newswires about small alpaca breeders who have lost some of their herds or pets.
Of the well known studs I know that Flowerdale and Canchones are OK at the moment but are still facing a threat. I've just heard that Jigaru are OK.
For those of you in Europe that use Mariah Hill, the Bunyip state park fire is close and property in the area has been lost. I understand that so far, they're OK but smoke will be a problem for them.
Coordinated efforts to help are being set up by breeders around the country offering shelter and food for animals and families.
You can follow the news at the ABC here
There's a live map of current fire areas here
And the Australian Alpaca Asn is posting offers of help and updates here
Our thoughts go out to those who have been affected and to those (mostly volunteers, including our own South Australian Alpaca Association president) who are fighting the fires.