Bombala school teacher Michael Sullivan's voice pipes up when he thinks of that eerie New Year's Eve skyline or the pitch black Saturday which followed.
His family had everything packed and ready to go in case the NSW bushfires came roaring towards their home, "but luckily that never eventuated and, touch wood, it will remain that way".
Yet it offered a sobering reminder for the junior Cricket Blast coordinator and Bombala cricket club captain about just how bad these fires have been for so many.
That's why the Sydney Thunder are trying to make a difference. After all, general manager Chris Botherway says community work is the heartbeat of the Big Bash League franchise.
So Sullivan will be doing the pre-game bat flip for the Thunder's clash with the Melbourne Renegades at Manuka Oval on Wednesday, while kids from Bombala and Jindabyne have been chosen to greet the players on the field.
The Thunder have thrown their weight behind the bushfire relief appeal with a long-term commitment to supporting rebuild efforts in fire stricken communities.
Cricket NSW officials are working to provide financial support for rebuild and replenishment projects for affected cricket clubs.
In the short-term the Thunder are auctioning off match-worn player shirts and promoting donations to Red Cross during games.
It is fitting they will do the latter in Canberra after their previous clash in the capital was abandoned due to a heavy smoke haze.
But the conditions have cleared enough for this game to go ahead with an anticipated crowd of about 10,000 on hand. Couple that with 400 kids at a junior clinic on Tuesday and it seems their investment in this community is paying off.
"We've only been playing games in Canberra for a very short time," Botherway said.
"So to see 400 kids here and most of them have a Thunder shirt or cap on, it just shows the power of the Big Bash.
"It doesn't surprise me, because we know the Big Bash is a fantastic family product.
"In the game we had in December was similar as well, there were lots of Thunder fans there, people that were getting behind the club.
"We hope that continues for a long time to come. We pride ourselves on being a community club.
"The work we do in the community is at the heartbeat of the Sydney Thunder and it has been for a very long time.
"It's important that where there are causes that are impacting people within the Thunder nation, that we try to take a lead and help out where we can."
Cricket ACT has pledged $25 for every four and $100 for every six to Red Cross.
BIG BASH LEAGUE
Wednesday: Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Renegades at Manuka Oval, 6.10pm. Tickets from Ticketek.
Thunder squad: Callum Ferguson (c), Liam Bowe, Jonathan Cook, Brendan Doggett, Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Morris, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu
Renegades squad: Dan Christian (c), Cameron Boyce, Tom Cooper, Andrew Fekete, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi, Samit Patel, Will Sutherland, Beau Webster, Jack Wildermuth