Kinglake is a beautiful little town.
Impossibly tall trees press everywhere on these heights looking down on Melbourne.
The air up here at about 600 metres above sea level gives you extra energy - it tastes different somehow.
The forest is what makes Kinglake what it is.
It is also the town's curse.
Kinglake was devastated by the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009.
Thirty-eight people tragically lost their lives, 500 homes were destroyed.
I was sent up there about a year later by my employer of the time to put together the annual story to Victorians to prepare for the coming bushfire season.
I have written dozens of them over my career as a journalist, most times I felt like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, from the Aesop fables.
You warn people over and over and when nothing comes of it, they ignore you.
Sort of like the air stewards and their pre-flight instructions - the first time you listen intently about that whistle which saves your life, and then on future flights you take hardly any notice.
I had been to Kinglake, north-east of Melbourne, before, but there was a different feel about the place this time and after all that devastation, I had expected there would be.
There was lots of building going on.
I interviewed a survivor from Black Saturday who was incredibly ready for the firestorm, but sadly many neighbours were not and paid a terrible price.
This man took the photographer and I on a tour around the town, finger pointing out the driver's window.
In the shadows of these charred trees, homes were rebuilt where the old ones had stood.
"We have learned nothing," he said disappointingly.
"Another fire is going to come along and the same thing is going to happen, people will die."
I have been reading those awful stories about people from the flooding in Queensland and NSW who lost everything, again some lost their lives.
Many people were recalling how soon this flood had come on the back of a previous flood just a few years ago.
Aaah, that's climate change - the experts offered.
Their homes and possessions were ruined by floodwater back then, and the same had happened again.
Experts were talking up one in 200 year events and whatnot, but here it had happen within a decade or two.
Most said they were just happy to be alive.
Again, people planned to rebuild in the same spot.
Their home is their castle after all.
There was occasional commentary about governments needing to buy people out and get them off the flood plain.
But most saw that as an impossible strategy to pursue - telling people they would have to go, even if we the taxpayer had enough money to impose our will.
Plus, there's an election in the offing.
I also remember a younger and more carefree Prince William travelling to Victoria back in 2011 when the flood plain north of Kerang was filled with muddy water.
The Victorian government's offer to buyback those homes built in the wrong spot prompted a mass exodus, a sudden loss of community.
If the doomsayers have it right, we can expect the frequency of natural disasters like fire and flood to increase.
Time to factor climate change into the thinking about where housing developments are placed.
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