The past few weeks - indeed the past couple of months - have been a confusing and terrifying maelstrom of unprecedented weather and terrifying fires. It has been difficult to reconcile the time of year - our traditional holiday season - with what could well become the new normal.
Stiflingly hot summers; longer, more severe bushfires; smoke filling up our vast, clean spaces.
And while there are many things Australians now have every right to demand from their leaders, for the average person, the basic requirements can be summed up easily: people reading and watching the news want coverage of the bushfire crisis that is timely, accurate and accessible.
And amidst the rolling unpredictability that comes with covering anything that is weather or natural disaster-related, there has been one figure who has remained something of a beacon of stability.
The head of the NSW Rural Fire Service, Shane Fitzsimmons - the man tasked with defending his state from the inferno - has been exemplary when it comes to keeping everyone in the know.
He has been clear-headed, articulate, tireless and circumspect when it comes to updating NSW residents - and, indeed, anyone tuning into one of his many press conferences that have been broadcast live over the weeks.
On the face of it, his brief in this respect has been simple - to keep the public informed to the best of his ability - and he seems to see this task as a straightforward one.
He is straightforward, his language plain.
He answers questions directly and openly, clearly weighed down, but without undue emotion. For anyone who knows of his background - his own father was a firefighter, killed during a hazard reduction burn in 2000 - his self-control is even more impressive.
Despite the magnitude of his role, and of the events that have placed him the spotlight day after day, he makes the job look easy.
But amid all the bureaucracy, information-wrangling, panic and spin, this job is much, much harder than it looks.
Clear communication in times of crisis is of the utmost importance, and states and territories - including the ACT and Victoria, both of which have experienced their own terrible fire events in the past - have had to absorb important lessons.
Collectively, we've taken them on board, at least on a state to state level.
However the events of the past week shows the federal agencies - including the Prime Minister and his cabinet - still leave a lot to be desired when it comes to keeping the right people in the know.
Fitzsimmons has demonstrated his willingness to shift out of his uber-calm demeanour and show anger and frustration when needs must - he was, understandably, less than impressed to learn about the federal government's deployment of 3000 army reservists to help with the bushfire crisis through the media, rather than being told directly.
But this was entirely understandable, and Fitzsimmons was quick to pull himself back into doing the job at hand.
It seems amazing that, given that bushfires are a reality of life of Australia and do not respect boundaries, our various governments can't adopt a federal approach when it comes to keeping the public informed.
Fitzsimmons could take the helm, and steer the country through any future crises.
Based on the past few weeks, he would be a welcome sight for what are becoming increasingly sore eyes - thick and toxic smoke notwithstanding.